Our families, ourselves

Our text today comes from the very wise Ruth McCambridge of the Nonprofit Quarterly, who writes,

So, for instance, organizations that talk about themselves as "family" may be referring
to a sense of informality, trust and solidarity among members but those very prized
characteristics may eventually lead to a lack of adequate systems. Everyone is already
working hard -- so the chronic lateness of grant reports or the fact that the executive
signs checks in advance of their being made out when a trusted colleague is racing
out to the local office supply store for more copier toner lapses into a pattern
that eventually looks like complete incompetence if not malfeasance.

In addition to its inherent virtues, this observation reminded the Nonprofiteer of her own experience of organizations which describe themselves as ‘family,’ which is that sooner or later every one of them reveals itself as being most like the family in Long Day’s Journey Into Night.


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