From Great quotes

“We need to build community chemistry.” R. LeBouef

My newspaper carried a front page story of a business where the employees decided to foresake their $20 per employee company paid holiday dinner and run a food drive instead.

What really jumped out from that story for me was a comment made by the branch manager, Ray LeBouef:

” the corporate rationale for the annual holiday dinner is that ‘it builds team chemistry. But I think we need to build community chemistry

Thank you, Ray, and the employees of Tractor Supply Company in Coventry, RI, for brightening up my morning.

Listen to the Lion

“Circumstances may change, but the work of compassion must continue. It is surely correct that we cannot solve problems by throwing money at them, but it is also correct that we dare not throw our national problems onto a scrap heap of inattention and indifference. The poor may be out of political fashion, but they are not without human needs. The middle class may be angry, but they have not lost the dream that all Americans can advance together…

“A fair prosperity and a just society are within our vision and our grasp, and we do not have every answer. There are questions not yet asked, waiting for us in the recesses of the future, but of this much we can be certain because it is the lesson of all our history: Together a president and the people can make a difference. I have found that faith still alive wherever I have traveled across this land. So let us reject the counsel of retreat and the call to reaction. Let us go forward in the knowledge that history only helps those who help themselves.

“There will be setbacks and sacrifices in the years ahead but I am convinced that we as a people are ready to give something back to our country in return for all it has given to us.

“Let this be our commitment: Whatever sacrifices must be made will be shared and shared fairly. And let this be our confidence: At the end of our journey and always before us shines that ideal of liberty and justice for all.”

Senator Edward M. Kennedy, Democratic National Convention 1980

11/100 Things about Nonprofits: Measure the right thing

While I believe in the power of nonprofits to change lives, I also know that our institutions are a small part of the picture. The easily measured usually serve as band aids or incubators. It’s a lot harder to measure the efforts of the advocates or catalysts for widescale change.

I’d hate to see philanthropy distracted from enabling big system societal changes. Let’s not invest excessive amounts of energy in measuring and evaluating individual nonprofits in isolation, and miss the bigger systems that need our attention.

Read more

For tough times “Manage cautiously but think ambitiously”

I woke up this morning thinking again that this third sector of ours needs to stop apologizing for the way it works and stop idealizing some fictitious “smarter than us” for-profit business and leadership model. Instead, we need to reclaim and boldly proclaim our unique way of seeing based on quality of life, a belief in public service and a philanthropic compass to guide our action. It’s time to take the high ground for the what, the why and the how of the work we do.

Read more

For Presidents’ day

“The probability that we may fall in the struggle ought not to deter us from the support of a cause we believe to be just; it shall not deter me.” – Abraham Lincoln

Journal of the Illinois State Historical Society, page 79

4/100 Things – Times change, fast. You need to keep up.

If you didn’t have a sense of urgency about building a resilient and adaptive organization before, hopefully our economic meltdown has convinced you that times change.

In case you are still resisting, I thought you might enjoy reading Tom Peters “Re-imagine Manifesto!” “Tomato TomAh to.” Though written a few years ago for a corporate audience, I think you’ll find much that speaks to you today.

Read more