In a recent email from the Orlando Shakespeare Theatre, the self-nicknamed "Orlando Shakes", they made the very official and braggy-sounding claim:
Orlando Shakespeare Theater in Partnership with UCF is now one of the most transparent nonprofits in Central Florida. If you've been reading the paper recently, you may be wondering how much you really know about the community organizations you support. We are proud to be among the first nonprofits recognized by the Community Foundation of Central Florida with a Reviewed Status in their new knowledge base.
Well, once you go to this lame site http://www.mycfcf.org and create an account, give someone your email address and phone number, and log in, then you go to the "Find Nonprofits Search Field" on the home page and enter a part of the organization's name - I tried "Shakespeare". There was one result. At this point, I had been turned away by the login screen dozens of times, and I was ready to give up.
Once I got in, I was allowed to see how much money the Shakes has been making and spending for the last 3 years. I noticed that they seem to be consistently spending more than they are making... now I never took Finance 101, but I think that's a problem!
I guess my big problem here was this unsolicited, cryptic, very proud, announcement that I am a patron of "one of the most transparent" theatre companies... OK... thanks.
I think when David Weinberger said "transparency is the new objectivity", he was talking about news organizations, and when Buddy Dyer told us that Green is the new Black, he was really just playing copy-cat. So why did it suddenly become important for our local nonprofits to show us their particulars?
Why wasn't this the standard before?
Why is this locked behind a login screen?
Why can't I actually share any of this information with you now?
I would, except for this line in the Terms and Conditions of the CFCF website:
Permission from the Foundation must be obtained before any Site Content is copied, reproduced, distributed, republished, downloaded, displayed, posted, or transmitted in any form or by any means
This is very transparent, but you can't tell anybody ANYTHING you've seen here without asking us.
Thanks... I think?