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In the past week, I have read 69 mission statements. Perhaps it is a Guiness Book of Records triumph, but that wasn’t the purpose. Perhaps it is one of the top 10 worst things I have ever done, but masochism was not the point either. It was done in response to an assignment I gave my graduate students: critique three mission statements. That assignment will most definitely be revised before next semester. I simply cannot put myself through it again. #157382685 / gettyimages.com While reading 69 of anything in one week is not a particularly inviting task, this one should.Read more
I love watching little children on Easter egg hunts; their pure delight and surprise in finding an egg tucked at the base of a tree or in the leaves of a tulip plant is contagious. And if the egg is a plastic egg, their anticipated joy at what lies inside exudes from every pore. Depending upon the child, the happiness is the hunt, not the hunted, or both. This is my Easter egg hunt to you: little nuggets that are not related, except they are all wrapped up in one blog and you can decide what to take away from.Read more
When it comes to reading, I often come intentionally late to the party. I figure if everyone else is talking about it, I don’t need to be reading it right then as the word is getting out. Which is why I find myself now, five years after its publication, reading Three Cups of Tea. It is, as everyone said, a nice read—at least as far as I’ve gotten. There are many things that one can take away from this book and Greg Mortenson’s story; the one that has me currently thinking might seem inconsequential. It is the serendipitous path (no.Read more
Now is clearly not a popular time to suggest that nonprofits should think carefully before accepting a gift—as gifts of dollars or those things that can easily translate into dollars—are such desperate commodities these days. But the reality is that now—and always—is the time. Earlier this week, The Wall Street Journal published an article identifying a number of American and British nonprofits—institutions of higher education and think tanks—that had, knowingly, accepted gifts from the Gaddafi Family Foundation and/or the Libyan government. The prestigious London School of Economics lost its director when he resigned earlier this week following the revelation of.Read more
Developing policies are a bore and a waste of precious time. At least that seems to be the thinking of most board members, as demonstrated by the amount of time and energy boards commit to their creation, reliance upon and monitoring. And yet, they are among the most important things a board should be doing as they provide for clarity, increased efficiency and, most importantly, allow the board to ensure that an organization’s values are both practiced and protected. Along the way, they do a helluva job of protecting an organization’s reputation. And what could be more important than that? .Read more
The world is a tough place these days for nonprofits. Not exactly a news flash. But I’m just returning from vacation, where I tried hard to concentrate on the waterfront, books that never used the word “nonprofit”, my tennis game, and, yes, forgetting. Now, I’m back and playing catch up with, among other things, my reading. And it feels so perilous out there that I’m reminded of a words from “Blood in the Water” (from Legally Blonde), describing to first year law students what makes for a successful lawyer: Only spineless snobs Will quarrel with the morally dubious jobs Yes,.Read more