In his article, “Three Sacred Sayings” (Spring 2022), Rod Wilson recalled me to that grounding context in which individuals, institutions and cultures flourish: relationality. Wilson rightly points out that the “sacred sayings” of “Thank you,” “I’m sorry,” and “Tell me more” are about more than politeness, though given the general torpor of our collective civility, a nudge toward niceness wouldn’t be a bad thing.
But beyond their functional lubrication, Wilson’s sacred sayings reorient us toward a more foundational truth: We do not move in siloed autonomy, imperviously and inconsequentially. To extend a gratitude is to acknowledge that I have been blessed by another. To speak an apology is to acknowledge that I do not live with impunity. To ask for more information is to recognize that I am incomplete.
While provoking me as an individual, I’m pondering the implications of these sayings for the institution I serve. Too often confined to our discrete theaters of service as trustees, administrators, faculty, staff, and students, how might the culture of our community be strengthened if we became more verbal in our gratitude, more earnest in our apologies, and more curious about the wisdom of our collaborators?
The article offers a helpful prod.
Board Chair, Brite Divinity School, Fort Worth, TX
Thanks for publishing the interview with Rebekah Burch Basinger in the “Dirty Money” article in the Spring 2022 edition. Basinger notes that “if we’re bold in proclaiming our values, we’re probably less likely to have a problematic donor show up.” Fundraising proclaims organizational values! I completely concur.
The best fundraising programs celebrate what God is doing and tell stories about how donors can join the party. The worst fundraising programs keep their heads down and mutter incoherently about needing more money.
As noted, it’s essential that the charity has policies to articulate those values: here’s what type of gifts they accept, here’s how they invest money, etc. When vision, values and fundraising align, it’s more than integrity, it’s joy in understanding how the organization can best serve its mission.
Lori Guenther Reesor
Mississauga, Ontario, Canada
I want to share with you how much I’ve been appreciating the In Trust Center's podcast series. Every episode has had valuable takeaways for me, even the ones I thought would not apply (such as the one of advisory boards – nope, learning there, too). I actually do look forward to it each Tuesday. I’ve recommended it to my board, and I have even heard from some of them that they are listening and learning, too. Thank you!
Micah T.J. Jackson
President, Bexley Seabury