I've decided that if an organization's mission aims to put a real dent in poverty and the forces that create it and its needless suffering, then that kind of non-profit is even harder to lead.
Just yesterday I was talking with one of our key leaders. He told me that he fears people think we are doing so well here at Central Dallas Ministries that we don't really need any more help.
I know what he means. We've had more than one church tell us just that!
"You know, Larry," these conversations begin, "CDM is doing so well and has grown so much, we just feel it is time to direct our funding toward smaller, newer, weaker organizations."
Of course, the fact is, we are doing well.
Our growth graph itches out an unbroken upward path extending from 1988 to the present.
You pick what you want to measure.
Number of persons served?
Number of community persons who volunteer and who join us daily in attempting to work for real change in the city?
Number of high-functioning initiatives?
Revenue generated from year to year?
Every marker is on the plus side.
Great news, huh?
But. . .don't you hate that word?. . .the upward trend lines to be considered here must also include those that relate to the numbers of people in need of assistance, opportunity and access.
Number of persons in Dallas living in poverty? Up.
Number of people who work, but still find that they need a hand up as they keep trying to craft a better life for themselves? Up.
Number of persons who need medical care? Way up!
Number of persons who need legal counsel? Growing rapidly.
Number of organizations coming to us interested in new partnerships, new collaborations? Many.
We are doing well.
However, our challenge is created by our determination and our responsibility to do more in the face of these growing needs, aspirations and opportunities.
Remember us, please.
For background see my posts on August 8 and 9, 2006.
Thanks to all who have contributed!
If you haven't as yet, please consider doing so by going or by mailing your checks to: Larry James Urban Daily, P. O. Box 710385, Dallas, Texas 75371-0385.
And, don't forget: forward our appeal to your friends and associates--building a closely linked network is the key to success here.
Those who have posted it on their blogs have really helped us!