Saturday, April 2, 2011

Closing Your Doors - The Good Way

The NY Times has an article about non-profits closing their doors for a good reason -- because they've accomplished their mission:
Out2Play, an organization started by Andrea Wenner in 2005, plans to close its doors next year. The group has put up roughly 120 playgrounds used by about 80,000 children in public elementary schools around New York City and is fast running out of locations, in part because the Bloomberg administration liked the idea so much that it took on some schools itself.

“When I first wrote the business plan, I thought about expanding it to other cities or into other types of institutions, like housing projects or hospitals, and we talked about those ideas and others when the board began seeing the end in sight,” Ms. Wenner said.

Ultimately, though, the board decided that the model worked best for the purpose it had served and that anything else would require more than a simple tweak.

“For example, in a housing project, you would still need someone to take kids to the playground and supervise them,” Ms. Wenner said.

In the end, said Robert Daum, chairman of Out2Play’s board, “we just decided to declare victory and go home. Money is a scarce resource, and there are lots of other good causes out there, so there is no point in hitting up our friends and contacts for gifts simply to perpetuate the organization.”

Works for some, but not for others.

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