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The Growing Shift Between Mosques and Imams by Mobeen Vaid

Posted by on May 27, 2015 in Blog, Governance | 0 comments

(from Muslim Strategic Initiative– As Omar Usman (see recently chronicled, the phenomenon of popular community leaders electing to step down from prominent posts has become a common affair as of late. Though resignations by said individuals are generally worded in polite and delicate terms, the aftermath tends to give way to more critical discussion that takes aim at the problems of our communities and the need for reform. And make no mistake, losing talented individuals, especially those that have served their communities admirably, should serve as cause for concern. But the real reform, if indeed we intend to propose one, along with the concomitant process by which it will take place has to be anchored in a full analysis of the factors at play, and though many have been – and continue to be – debated and discussed, it...

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Your Masjid is not a Fortune 500 Company, nor should it be by Omar Osman

Posted by on Apr 4, 2015 in Blog, Governance | 0 comments

From Muslim Strategic Initiative Being professional doesn’t mean being corporate. This is a myth being perpetuated in our community – one that I fell for myself. Inherently, it cannot be the case. Islamic work, by definition, is non-profit. Corporate work, by definition, is for maximization of profit. Before continuing, one objection must be addressed, and that is the existence of “for-profit” Muslim enterprises or institutions. In these cases, the nature of the work dictates the underlying values of an organization. A Muslim business that sells lotas, for example, would be for maximization of profit. It is difficult to envision a scenario where they might go around donating lotas, distributing free lotas to increase lota awareness, or ask the community for good-faith contributions to help fund lota research and development. An Islamic organization may choose to utilize a “for...

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The Art of Governance by Dan Hotchkiss

Posted by on Feb 22, 2015 in Blog, Governance | 0 comments

Religion transforms people; no one touches holy ground and stays the same. Religious leaders stir the pot by pointing to the contrast between life as it is and life as it should be, and urging us to close the gap. Religious insights provide the handhold that people need to criticize injustice, rise above self-interest, and take risks to achieve healing in a wounded world. Religion at its best is no friend to the status quo. Organization, on the other hand, conserves. Institutions capture, schematize, and codify persistent patterns of activity. A well-ordered congregation lays down schedules, puts policies on paper, places people in positions, and generally brings order out of chaos. Organizations can be flexible, creative, and iconoclastic, but only by resisting some of their most basic instincts. No wonder “organized religion” is so difficult! Congregations create sanctuaries where...

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Ten Tips for Community Leaders

Posted by on Sep 29, 2014 in Blog, Governance | 1 comment

By Maher Budeir Founder and Trainer of Balanced Leadership Institute Fix your foundation: Do you have written bylaws/constitution? Are your policies written down and do all Board members know where to find them? Does the community have access to the documents? Does your Board have insurance? Get your finances in order: Do you have the right financial skills on your Board? Do you have a budget; is it tracked monthly? Do you have segregation of financial duties and a written cash management policy? When was the last time you had an external review of your finances? Represent the community: Does your Board look like the community? Are the Board members elected by the community? What stipulations do you have limiting who can serve on the Board? Is there a process for removing Board members and/or dissolving the Board? Run...

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Shifting Our Communities from Survival Mode to Strategic Mode by Maher Budeir

Posted by on Jun 25, 2014 in Blog, Governance | 0 comments

By Maher Budeir, founder and trainer at Balanced Leadership Institute, Inc. A firm dedicated to training Muslim nonprofit board members and leaders. How do we get our communities to be more strategic? We, as Muslim communities, have been performing in a survival mode. We are reactive. We focus on tangible programs and buildings. We look at here and now, and if we are really good we look at one year out. We think about education options after we already have kids. Then we look at elementary schools because our kids are that age. Even though one can argue that if we are able to build a single school it should be a middle or high school as those years are the most difficult for our kids to manage. But we do not look at the big picture and...

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