Friday, February 11, 2011

BUUF - From Good To A Great Church

I want the Brockport Unitarian Universalist Fellowship not to just be a good church, I want us to be a great church.

Jim Collins wrote a book entitled From Good to Great in which he describes the characteristics of great companies. After writing this book he also wrote a short monograph applying these characteristics to nonprofit organizations. In this monograph he describes how to define greatness and measure it in nonprofits.

Here is what he writes, "In the social sectors, the critical question is not 'How much money do we make per dollar of invested capital?' but 'How effectively do we deliver on our mission and make a distinctive impact, relative to our resources?'"

What I make of this idea of how do we deliver on our mission based on our resources is that BUUF needs to have a mission which is measurable in order for us to be able to ascertain BUUF's level of achievement.

People like to know what an organization is doing with their money, time, and energy. The question they are constantly asking themselves subvocally, if not vocally, is "Is this organization worth my money and time and energy?"

If we are going to ask people to invest in BUUF, we need to have some idea of what we asking them to invest in.

Here's my beginning attempt to make a mission statement:

Mission of BUUF is, based on the 7 UU principles, to meet human needs, empower individuals and groups, and transform the world into heaven on earth.

Service, empowerment, transformation = SET (easy to remember)

How does BUUF carry out this mission?

"To meet human needs" means to meet Maslow's hierarchy of needs:

I haven't finished describing the possiblilities, but you get the idea.

Maslow's hierarchy of needs (He describes five in this order and says the more basic needs must be met before people move to the higher needs)

Physical
     Food
     Clothing
     Health
     Dying

Safety
     Child care
      Domestic Violence
     Poverty/dispossed (Micro loans)
     Jobs program

Belonging
     Visit the lonely and stigmatized
     Clubs, sports, recreation for specialized populations

Esteem - self respect

Self actualization

"empowering individuals and groups" means:

To provide fellowship that is empowering and enjoyable.
  1. Provide information
  2. Teach skills
  3. Provide opportunities 
"To transform the world into heaven on earth" means:

The deconstruction of discourses which oppress and subjugate and creating positive models of being and relating to eliminate things such as:
Racism
Classism
Miltarisim
Sexism
Ageism
Out of control capitalism
Religious eliminationism
Homophobia

In a further post I will try to provide an evaluation of what I believe BUUF has achieved in pursuing its mission up until now, and what we might consider for the coming year and longer.

As we embark on a stewardship campaign in March, we must be clear on what we are asking people to invest in. How is BUUF proposing to use their money, time, energy, expertise, connections (Stewardship should be about more than money.) to carry out its mission?

This material is in draft form. Thoughts, ideas, comments are very much welcomed and appreciated.

1 comment:

  1. Dave, you are on to something here. I like your thinking about your mission and how to deconstruct the components into operationalized components.

    I wonder if you could do a workshop on this?

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