Nonprofits and Expressing The True Heart

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Today, we published a newswire about the Joffrey Ballet. After wowing the world for 60 years or thereabouts, the Joffrey has just created its first endowment. It’s a tiny one at $1.5 million, especially when set next to the company’s annual budget which exceeds $16 million, but it is intended to support a very specific aspect of their work: the development of full-length ballets that tell stories.

Why is this so impressive to me? Maybe because it makes a statement, in the absence of a larger endowment and the presence of this smaller one, about something that is almost ineffably core to Joffrey’s mission and meaning in the midst of a relatively large and diverse endeavor.

It made me wonder how else nonprofits might send non-declarative messages about what is sacred in our missions and values without actually stating them in boldface type or detailing them in uninspiring bullet points that are easy to read but stultifying.

Claiming the place where you stand can be really memorable. So, I would like to ask you: When have you experienced a nonprofit making the heart of its workknown itself in an unusual way? We’d love to hear about it.