Generation NGO

March 22, 2008

An interesting piece in today’s Globe and Mail about the seemingly insatiable wave of start-up NGOs being headed by Gen-Ys of late.

Not too long ago, Paul worked for Journalists for Human Rights, an excellent media NGO based in Toronto. While he was there, two to three wannabe do-gooders would pop in to meet our Executive Director per week, all eager to start an organization, all remarkably fuzzy on the details (or why such an organization was necessary at all). The stories of those profiled in this Globe piece sound like inspiring examples of what a legitimate desire to right social wrongs and alter dominant NGO paradigms can do when armed with a little moxie and determination. But too few Gen-Y really know what they’re getting into, or that running an effective NGO day to day is bloody hard work. It’s not as easy as setting up the legal framework of an organization, throwing a party or two and getting people to blog about you. Still, those who are principled and for real should be lauded for challenging atrophied and antiquated models.

It’s just a shame things aren’t as simple and straight forward as the article suggests.


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