A good friend of mine sent me a note after the launch of the charity was made public. The essence of his note was simple: why undertake such a large endeavor when you could just become involved with a local organization like the Alzheimer’s Association? It’s a good question and one worth addressing in this post and probably in future posts as my thinking becomes clearer.
Our desire with the Fireball Foundation is to have an organization that is completely focused on providing information on care givers and those with dementia that enables them to make decisions. In our view, providing information through trusted resources is a form of support. I doubt we’ll ever fund or work to organize a support group anywhere because it’s already being done.
A couple days ago, I twittered that the best way to accomplish a mission is through collaboration, co-opitition and competition. Having our own foundation allows for all three to occur when the moments are right. We’ll provide money or supporting services when the situation calls for it. We’ll be frenemies (competition working together) – our charity working with nursing homes to provide the very best care possible, and we’ll compete to ensure good, accurate data that isn’t beholden to any special interests are released to the public.
Fireball was formed because the information Alissa, Grandma and I found when doing research to make decisions for Grandpa’s care facility were lacking. We had no idea which nursing homes were good and which ones were bad. The representative from the Alzheimer’s Association, nor the representative from the AARP could give us any indication on which ones were good and bad. I still remember the only thing the AARP representative wanted to do was sell us insurance.
In fact, even today, despite the new 5 Star Nursing Home Rating System from Medicare, the Alzheimer’s Association doesn’t list it on their website.
Normal commerce thrives with competition and more entries into the market place; so why not in charitable situations?