Monday, March 30, 2020

Microstory 1331: Charitable Foundation

Lottery Winner: Thank you for calling in one last time. My friend told me to refer to this a suitability interview, so I don’t look like a jerk for making you interview more than once, but the truth is that I don’t really know what the hell I’m doing, and there were some things I forgot to ask you before.
Assistant Candidate: It’s no problem. I’m happy to answer anything.
Lottery Winner: Okay, great. I’ll make this as quick and painless as possible. After I won the lottery, everyone had a lot of ideas about how I could spend the money. If they weren’t asking for me to just give it to them, they were suggesting I buy a theme park, or a sports team, or a giant mansion. Of course, a lot of people said I ought to just donate it to charity, which is the obvious answer here, and why I placed the job posting. At first, I figured I would need help from an assistant who could field donation requests, and research the most reputable ones. I don’t want to give to a front for a terrorist organization, or to someone who’s embezzling it. The more I’ve thought about this, the more I’ve realized that this won’t be enough. I have eighty-three million dollars right now, and when I run out of that, then it’s gone. Most would say that’s no big deal, but I want to maximize my donations, and the amount of time I can do it. I don’t just want to give the money away. I want to set up a charitable foundation, so it can keep going, even after the initial money is gone; even after I’m gone.
Assistant Candidate: Oh, that’s a nice idea, I like that.
Lottery Winner: I’m glad to hear it, because once I decided to do this, I remembered your name. There were a lot of great candidates for this position, and honestly, I wasn’t too worried about who I chose before. I was mostly concerned with finding someone who wasn’t going to steal from me, or exploit my generosity. But it says here you’ve actually worked for a number of nonprofits.
Assistant Candidate: I have, yes.
Lottery Winner: What did you do for them?
Assistant Candidate: Well, I’ve done a lot of volunteer work here and there. I sorted thrift store donations, helped build houses, and cleaned up parks. I imagine that’s not what you’re asking about, though. You’re wondering about the administrative side, and I do have a little bit of experience with that. I’m an editor by trade, so I worked in two paid positions, editing grant proposals. The key to remember there is that I was an editor; not a writer. A lot of letters came across my desk, but I never had to be the one to write one from scratch, and I haven’t done anything else in administration.
Lottery Winner: I think that would be okay. I’m not looking for the best. I’m looking for someone flexible, who is willing to accept my mistakes, as well as their own, and try to get better.
Assistant Candidate: I can be flexible. I think I would be very happy in a job where I help you figure things out.
Lottery Winner: That would be amazing.
Assistant Candidate: I would have one suggestion, though.
Lottery Winner: You have a charity in mind?
Assistant Candidate: Oh no, nothing like that. If you don’t have any experience, and you’re going to hire me—who also isn’t all that experienced—then you might want to think about hiring some kind of lawyer next. That’s the trickiest thing when it comes to this. You hear a lot about white collar criminals who steal from their unsuspecting clients, but I bet there are some who just didn’t realize they were doing something illegal. Compliance is boring, but it’s important.
Lottery Winner: Yeah, that’s a good point. I could easily fall into that category. Why don’t you come in tomorrow? We’ll discuss how to find a lawyer for such a thing, as well as other things, like your salary.
Assistant Candidate: Cool, thanks.
Lottery Winner: Thank you.

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