Recovering from a haiku snafu and a lifetime of lousy mission statements

I don’t recall what inspired me to sum up the board meeting in haiku verse, but the puzzled (okay, shocked) look on faces around the table left little doubt that doing so wasn’t a good idea. Needless to say, I’ve not attempted a repeat performance nor do I include haiku in my list of recommended […]

Five questions to ask before spending money on that “great” idea

The day after I posted “Six questions to ask and answer before asking my advice,” up popped a similarly themed bit of writing on Wesley Seminary’s Leading Ideas blog. (If you’re not already a subscriber, I encourage you to become one today.) To be sure, there’s a difference in the focus of the two pieces. […]

Tips for insuring the show goes on, despite a smaller cast of characters

Among the small to mid-sized nonprofits and ministry organizations to which I offer consulting services, staffing adjustments (down-sizing, right-sizing, and plain old lay-offs) are more the rule than the exception. The North American nonprofit sector is no stranger to getting by on less. But these days less is edging toward subsistence, with budgets and personnel […]

Here comes the judge and there goes your overtime

The very day I posted an article here at Generous Matters in which I linked the update in U.S. regulations for overtime pay with Jesus’ command about love of neighbor, a federal judge in Texas issued a preliminary nationwide injunction against the Labor Department’s ruling. With a swipe of his pen, Judge Amos Mazzant III […]

No rest for weary, but for some, overtime pay (maybe)

Throughout much of late 2015 and into early 2016, the US nonprofit sector was abuzz over the Department of Labor’s updates to federal overtime regulations. Online chatter died down during the heat of the presidential campaign, but attempts to circumvent the new rules continued. A cottage industry of sorts has sprung up as consultants and […]

To media-anointed religious spokespersons from a concerned evangelical Christian

I won’t mention you by name and you certainly don’t know mine. But since you’ve taken it upon yourselves to speak for me, I feel entitled to talk to you. Here’s what I want you to hear. Now that you’ve had your 15 minutes of Campaign 2016 fame, stand down. Please. Okay, so there’s nothing […]

The problem with “more money” as your final answer

It’s a delight when a big voice from the blogging world – someone smarter, more eloquent, and better known than me – says something that I’ve already said here at Generous Matters. I am gratified when an  issue I deemed important enough to write about gets wider play. And of course, there’s pleasure in knowing […]

With abundance, it’s de ja vu all over again

Back in the early 2000s when Growing Givers’ Hearts: Treating Fundraising as Ministry hit the bookshelves, Thom Jeavons and I were chided for under-selling the all too real limitations faced by nonprofits large and small, secular and faith-based. But what a difference 15 plus years has made. These days, abundance thinking is touted as good […]

This summer, vanquish the bully within

With Memorial Day behind for folks in the United States and good-bye to May everywhere, it’s all hands on deck for nonprofits racing toward a June 30 fiscal year-end. Then ah, summer, and with the season, hope of a few days of rest and relaxation or at least a slightly slower pace. In a blog […]

Beware “iceberg beliefs” that can sink your organization

“Ours has always been a hand-to-mouth existence,” the seminary president commented with a shrug and a sheepish smile. “I can’t imagine that thriving is in our future.” Neither can a lot of the other ministry heads and board members with whom I’ve worked. A wide swath of the nonprofit sector has been down so long […]