Putting staff in charge without losing volunteer commitment

Boards that try to delegate authority to staff often worry that volunteers will lose commitment. It’s a realistic concern: volunteers who handled large responsibilities under the board do sometimes decide, when the board passes the management baton to the head of staff, that they are no longer needed. This used to surprise me. Why would … Read more

Green Eyeshades and Rose-Colored Glasses

Congregational budget-makers frequently divide into two camps that approach the task in different ways. The first camp is likely to include children of the Great Depression, experts in finance, elementary school teachers, and persons anxious about their own money situation. Their first priority is to make sure that the budget balances and that the congregation … Read more

Searching for the Key: Developing a Theory of Synagogue Size

Nineteen synagogue consultants met in Boston last summer … with Alban senior consultant Alice Mann, whose writings on church size have drawn attention in the Jewish world. In the top-floor conference room of Boston’s Combined Jewish Philanthropies building, Mann described the theory of church size most often used by the Alban Institute, and drew on … Read more