Shaking up Investing

Why would the decision by the Ford Foundation’s Board of Directors to take up to $1 billion of its $12 billion over the next 10 years to make mission related investments be “shaking up the board rooms” of any nonprofit, be it foundation or otherwise?  After all, the Rockefeller Foundation started doing this a while ago, and currently has $68 million (1.8% of its dollars) in mission related investments.

Other foundations have been doing it as well.  So, what’s all of the fuss?  Yes, I get Read more

On a Mission

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.

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While reading 69 of Read more

Time to Brew the Tea

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; Read more

When Boring is Better

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 Read more