Jeff Coolidge


This article covers spirit and its role in invigorating and maintaining our institutions. It tracks the origin of spirit and describes the role of spirit in organizations along with its manifestations: vision and mission, each of which, the author explains, must be clearly defined and kept separate to maintain organizational spirit and effectiveness. He makes the case that spirit can be assessed and nurtured and considers it important for funders and other interested parties to do so. Such assessment must identify elements that could corrupt this spirit. While focusing on nonprofit institutions, he demonstrates where spirit and its effects are documented by management experts to infuse corporations, thus broadening its social impact. Spirit can therefore remedy the concerns of social scientists about our nation as a consumer society with a balkanized political vision. The author describes efforts to revitalize our public and institutional life, including faith-based initiatives and social entrepreneurialism represented by four agencies in which he has participated.



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