Tag Archives | governance

Harry Truman, "the buck stops here"

What Buck Stops Where?

A famous sign on Harry Truman’s desk declared, THE BUCK STOPS HERE. “The President—whoever he is,” Truman explained, “has to decide.” Truman’s example has inspired many leaders to accept appropriate responsibility. But a careless reading of his slogan can lead to the mistake of thinking that whoever can make a decision always should.

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What Should a Governing Board Be Good At?

Many people dread board meetings, and for good reason. Boards spend too much time passively receiving information and transacting routine business. But it doesn’t have to be this way. Some boards have interesting meetings. Clergy and lay board members feel their time and energy has been well used. How do they do it?

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Meeting and Voting Online

Glitchy video and scratchy sound still spoil a lot of online meetings, but the technology gets better all the time. Meeting “virtually” by audio and video can be convenient, but it raises some new issues and exacerbates some old ones, especially for governing boards. Boards that want to meet and vote online need to sharpen […]

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What Does it Mean to Be Non-profit?

I had always assumed that religion was a naturally nonprofit enterprise. But then, while touring Nashville with a fellow minister, I heard the story of a Presbyterian named Frist. “You know how Bill Frist’s family became billionaires?” my colleague asked.

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consensus from Flickr via Wylio

The Truth about Consensus

by Susan Beaumont “Let’s work by consensus!” is a familiar rallying cry. It feels egalitarian, generative and worthy. So we set aside Robert’s Rules of Order and begin a dialogue where all are encouraged to weigh in. We promise ourselves that we won’t move forward until we’ve reached an agreement that everyone likes. And then the […]

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How Boards Raise Money for Ministry

by Dan Hotchkiss “Fundraising is the board’s main job.” I was stunned by this blunt advice from the executive director of a respected arts nonprofit. “I tell every new board member,” she continued, “give, get—or get out.” We expect each member to produce at least $5,000, either out of their own pockets or by asking […]

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