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Some decades ago, I was doing program management for a nonprofit organization focused on increasing father involvement in children's lives. Seeing that several local human service providers had programs with tangentially similar foci, I tried to inspire creation of a local services clearinghouse so that agencies and organizations wouldn't waste resources providing services already available elsewhere. Seemed to me a reasonable goal. What I did not expect was to rebuffed by a dozen different agency directors. One director was honest with me and explained their lack of interest in collaboration was informed by "turf rights."

Turf rights? In non-profit human service organizations? WTF.

I had such naivete. Our all-volunteer organization was funded by a small group of concerned guys. We had no need for bureaucracy. It was a freedom that lasted many years and allowed us to help thousands of men become closer to their children.

As I look back on those decades, I wish they'd have gone on and on. There is so much need for helpers who can artfully dodge bureaucracy's rigor mortis.

I wish you much success with your selfless endeavor!

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