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A low-keyed, funny first novel detailing the inner workings of a wacky charitable association. The story is told through minutes written by the acerbic Mrs. Jeffrey ""Effie"" Black, Secretary to the Board of Directors of an unnamed organization. Charitable contributions are way down, expenses are way up, the treasury is in terrible shape--and yet all the Board can concentrate on is personal bickering: ""Before the sparring got unpleasant, we had. . .a number of remarks that were intended to be humorous but bordered on profane."" The battles center on the chronic absenteeism of Vice-Chairperson Penelope Mitchell (""I said the minutes would reflect that the new members and even several old ones were pleased to know what she looked like""); the dreaded fear of the organization's losing its all-important 501 (C)(3) tax exemption; and the Board's continued attempts to extract money from philanthropic foundations (""We are straightforward, solid, middle-of-the-road edge-cutters with a record of feasibility pilots that model the best of demonstrations. . .In perfect candor, what we seek is a plain ordinary Slush Fund""). After being reprimanded by Ms. Geneva Betts, of the National Organization, for ""sloppiness, casualness, and even flippancy,"" the Board finally does come up with a money-raising idea: it will extort money from the biggest fund-raising organizations by threatening to raid their causes--""the ultimate in daring was to think of putting the arm on the Girl Scouts."" In all: droll, human, and instantly recognizable to anyone who has ever gotten anywhere near a copy of Robert's Rules of Order.

Pub Date: Nov. 30th, 1987
Publisher: Walker