Archive for January 11th, 2010

Goldman Sachs Looking for Non-profit Patsies

Posted on January 11, 2010. Filed under: Fundraising, Leadership, Non-profits |

Goldman Sachs Looking for Non-profit Patsies

I thought about writing on how reprehensible it was for Goldman Sachs to promote mandatory charitable giving, but given the description by Matt Taibbi of Goldman Sachs as “world’s most powerful investment bank is a great vampire squid wrapped around the face of humanity, relentlessly jamming its blood funnel into anything that smells like money” in the July issue of Rolling Stone, I decided that any appeal to decency by Sachs would be meaningless.

Goldman Sachs is however, not stupid, and they realize they have created a public relations problem for themselves, so their effort to solve it includes forcing their employees to donate a percentage of their bonuses to charity.

Here’s the headline and link to the January 10, 2010 New York Times story:

Goldman Sachs Considers Charity Requirement

Published: January 10, 2010
As it prepares to pay out big bonuses to employees, Goldman Sachs is considering expanding a program that would require executives and top managers to give a certain percentage of their earnings to charity.


So the question is, how many non-profit leaders will denounce this as a badly disguised effort by Goldman Sachs to generate some positive public relations (I think has failed in that regard) and how many will step up saying “Give it to us, we’re worthy.”

It behooves the board leadership to think long and hard about what it means to accept money for any reason. A variation on this is encapsulated in this very old, and very non-PC joke:

An elderly rich gentleman at a cocktail party asked a young and very beautiful woman if she would sleep with a stranger for a million dollars. She thought for a minute, but then said, “Yes, I would.” “Well, will you sleep with me for a $100 dollars?” he asked. Indignantly, she exclaimed, “What kind of girl do you think I am?” “We’ve already determined that,” he said, “now we’re just haggling about the price.”

If your non-profit is offered a gift from a mandated Goldman Sachs account, what will you do? Choose wisely.


Bill Huddleston

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    Fundraising and Leadership Development through workplace giving, CFC = Combined Federal Campaign


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