We need to talk about Kevin Donovan.
Toronto Star reporter Kevin Donovan likes to spotlight charity waste. Now, in fairness, some of his articles are extremely reasonable. But not all of them. Mr. Donovan is one of those leading the charge that money should not be ‘wasted’ on administrative overhead.
The problem with an emphasis on keeping administrative overhead low is that it can have unintended consequences. And I consider my recent mishap a multicolor “Exhibit A” for unintended consequences.
Every single time I have moved offices at every charity I have worked at, I have always packed my own boxes. In fact, I have even moved my boxes before. All of this saves money (opportunity cost is a topic for another blog posting) – after all, the Kevin Donovans will tell you hiring packers is money wasted on administrative overhead.
Unfortunately, due to a combination of being in a hurry and a poor understanding of elemental physics, I managed to get hit quite hard in the head while moving some boxes recently at work. It looked something like this.
I ended up with this HUGE bump on my forehead. A quick trip to the doctor said that I was basically ok but I was not feeling fully well for 4 days. Meanwhile the bump migrated into a festive Hawaiian sunset of a black eye.
Here’s my point. Hiring packers would increase administrative costs. One unintended consequence of the crusade to keep administrative costs low is that I got hurt.
There are other unintended consequences of keeping administrative costs low.
What’s your experience with unintended consequences of charities keeping administrative costs low?