News & Insights

Driving home one evening several years ago, listening to “The Story with Dick Jordan” on our local NPR radio station, I was surprised to hear a familiar voice. It was Dorothy Ridings, whom I had met at an In Trust Writer Workshop just a few months prior. She was talking about an editorial she wrote in which she argued that nonprofit boards should refuse to accept money from anonymous donors. (That is to say, when the donor is completely unknown to the board of trustees.)



The donations that launched the discussion were large, made to several colleges and universities across the country. Ridings took up the subject again in the pages of In Trust magazine: “It takes discipline to say 'No' to anonymous gifts.”


As far as I know, no institution refused these particular multimillion-dollar gifts, and given the financial pressures on schools, it’s easy to see how refusing such a donation might not have even been a question for many people. For seminaries and theological institutions, however, how a school fulfills its mission is as important as its financial health. The issues of transparency and accountability at least require the question be asked.


Check out Dot Ridings’ piece in the Spring 2010 issue for a closer look at this issue that remains as important today as it was seven years ago when the article first appeared.

Top Topics

Roles & Responsibilities



Board Essentials

Upcoming Events

The In Trust Center hosts learning community spaces throughout the year. Check out our upcoming events below.

Called to the Chair: Board Leadership for Unsettled Times


Dr. Rebekah Basinger addresses the opportunities and challenges that come with chairing the board of a theological school, which include how to design effective board meetings, enhance board member engagement, and develop the board for long-term effectiveness, while giving attention to the board chair and president partnership and the critical importance of call in both roles.

Stakeholder Management Planning


Every organization should be prepared with a plan that establishes specific communication goals for key stakeholders in order to ensure the success of its programs, initiatives, or ongoing communication strategy. In this webinar, Josh Peskin, Ph.D., an expert in organizational communications, will walk through the elements of developing a stakeholder management plan to help you engage with your audiences in a more effective way. Click to view.

Conflict + Crisis: Navigating the Shoals Part 1


Presenter Donna Alexander, President & CEO of Advoxum Global Strategies, offers best practices for navigating conflict and crisis. She examines the crucial elements of defining conflict and crisis, identifying, and prioritizing affected stakeholders, utilizing effective communication strategies, and ultimately, executing a plan of action.

Can’t Find What You’re Looking For?

In Trust Center provides Resource Consulting to our members at no charge. Contact us today and let us guide you to the most helpful resources for your situation.

Contact Us