While at this morning’s session of the Neighborworks Conference on non-profit capacity building, there was an interesting exchange between the group members around accepting money from organizations that didn’t necessarily jibe with the organization’s mission (like tobacco companies, casinos, etc.). There were those who advocated for maintaining mission integrity at all costs (and turning down $ even if it hurts), and others who looked for a more balanced approach, by adjusting priorities while maintaining your org’s mission.
But the most interesting comment came from a friend of mine, an inner-city pastor who kept saying “take the money no matter what”. After rattling everybody’s chain, he explained that his church takes in offerings from people of all kinds of lifestyles – questionable or not – and he (as the pastor) in turn uses that money to the glory of God. His point is don’t be afraid to be creative when you partner with other organizations who seem so different from your own. Integrity doesn’t get compromised by association alone. Another colleague offered our title as a text to consider….