Resources for Good Practice
Update November 2012
Member Care in Mission/Aid
Doing Good Well
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This month we tap into our desire to do good together with others as well as when no one is watching. We feature two items that have inspired us in our member care work and encouraged us in our personal lives. The first is the book Forces for Good: The Six Practices of High-Impact Non-Profits (revised 2012). The second is the music/dance video Trip the Light (2012). We finish with an equally impactful item on doing good— a short, sobering excerpt from Charle’s Dicken’s Christmas Carol, Marley’s Ghost (1843).
Doing good is the greatest treasure
Better than gold, better than pleasure.
Sem Tob, 14th century Spain.
Warm greetings from Geneva,
Kelly and Michèle O’Donnell
Lake Geneva, 21 October 2012
Forces for Good:
The Six Practices of High-Impact Nonprofits (revised 2012)
Leslie R. Crutchfield and Healther McLeod Grant
“Anyone who is interested in creating social change—or in the nonprofit sector more broadly—should read this book…[including] nonprofit managers and leaders, donors and philanthropists, business leaders, students and academics, elected officials and policy-makers.”
.The authors of this book “spent four years surveying thousands of nonprofit CEOs, conducting hundreds of interviews, and studying a dozen high-impact nonprofits to uncover their secrets to success. The secret? Great nonprofits spend as much time working outside their four walls as they do managing their internal operations. They use the power of leverage to become greater forces for good. This landmark book reveals the six powerful practices of twelve high-impact nonprofits, and tells their compelling stories. “
“The Revised and Updated Edition of Forces for Good (Wiley 2012) includes all of the original content [from the 2008 book], as well as several new chapters that explore how the 12 great nonprofits fared during difficult economic times, and how smaller nonprofits can apply "six practices" in their local communities. It also includes a diagnostic tool for nonprofit leaders who want to strengthen their application of the six practices. The new content is based on additional research conducted by the authors in 2011, including interviews with leaders of the original 12 great nonprofits, and case studies of 13 smaller high-impact nonprofits that are effectively applying the six practices in their local communities.”
1. The quotes above are excerpted from the book’s web site:
2. Want to get an overview of the book? Then read the recent interview with the authors as they discuss how their framework for creating high-impact nonprofits (the six practices) applies to local and smaller organizations. http://www.ssireview.org/articles/entry/local_forces_for_good
3. Think of this book in terms of Sender Care. Sender Care is a two-way street. it is not just how the organization cares for its staff/volunteers but also how organizations themeselves are cared for—the need to develop healthy and effective organizations that can do mission/aid work well.
We’re gonna trip the light
We’re gonna break the night
And we’ll see with new eyes
When we trip the light.
A Christmas Carol, Charles Dickens (1843)
[Note: It is the moral lesson and not the worldview that inspires and impacts us the most.]
When it had said these words, the spectre took its wrapper from the table, and bound it round its head, as before. Scrooge knew this, by the smart sound its teeth made, when the jaws were brought together by the bandage. He ventured to raise his eyes again, and found his supernatural visitor confronting him in an erect attitude, with its chain wound over and about its arm.
“It is required of every man,” the Ghost returned, “that the spirit within him should walk abroad among his fellow-men, and travel far and wide; and if that spirit goes not forth in life, it is condemned to do so after death. It is doomed to wander through the world—oh, woe is me!—and witness what it cannot share, but might have shared on earth, and turned to happiness!”
“Oh! captive, bound, and double-ironed,” cried the phantom, “not to know, that ages of incessant labour by immortal creatures, for this earth must pass into eternity before the good of which it is susceptible is all developed. Not to know that any Christian spirit working kindly in its little sphere, whatever it may be, will find its mortal life too short for its vast means of usefulness. Not to know that no space of regret can make amends for one life’s opportunities misused! Yet such was I! Oh! such was I!”
The apparition walked backward from him; and at every step it took, the window raised itself a little, so that when the spectre reached it, it was wide open.
It beckoned Scrooge to approach, which he did. When they were within two paces of each other, Marley’s Ghost held up its hand, warning him to come no nearer. Scrooge stopped.
Not so much in obedience, as in surprise and fear: for on the raising of the hand, he became sensible of confused noises in the air; incoherent sounds of lamentation and regret; wailings inexpressibly sorrowful and self-accusatory. The spectre, after listening for a moment, joined in the mournful dirge; and floated out upon the bleak, dark night.
Scrooge followed to the window: desperate in his curiosity. He looked out.
The air was filled with phantoms, wandering hither and thither in restless haste, and moaning as they went. Every one of them wore chains like Marley’s Ghost; some few (they might be guilty governments) were linked together; none were free. Many had been personally known to Scrooge in their lives. He had been quite familiar with one old ghost, in a white waistcoat, with a monstrous iron safe attached to its ankle, who cried piteously at being unable to assist a wretched woman with an infant, whom it saw below, upon a door-step. The misery with them all was, clearly, that they sought to interfere, for good, in human matters, and had lost the power for ever.
Whether these creatures faded into mist, or mist enshrouded them, he could not tell. But they and their spirit voices faded together; and the night became as it had been when he walked home.