Serving God and Mammon?

Douglas Board writes:

'Non-profit organisations aren't good or saintly: they're complicated, sometimes ferocious and often poorly understood by business executives. One day when I was recruiting a CEO for a national disability NGO I had a briefing meeting with one of the trustees, an (unpaid) parent whose child was seriously affected. He spoke with pain and some anger about some of the executives: he doubted their commitment to the cause, and saw their motivations as mercenary.

Next door, my next meeting was with one of those (paid) executives. She spoke with pain and some anger about some of the trustees like the one I'd just talked to. 'I choose where I work,' she said, 'at the end of day he's only here because of an accident.' The complexity and ferocity of the conflict has stayed with me.

Businesses don't pretend to be good or saintly, but they do often present themselves as straightforward ('business-like'), decisive, agile or efficient: when in fact they're complicated, sometimes ferocious, and often poorly understood by those with a non-profit commitment. The two ignorances can collide spectacularly when non-profit organisations seek to recruit business skills and perspectives. For both organisation and recruit, the end result can be 'out of the frying pan into the fire'.

Join me online at 5.30pm (UK time) this Thursday 17 June for a fascinating, insightful and practical conversation with one of the UK's leading recruiters in this space, Joanna Moriarty at Green Park . We'll look at nonprofits and specifically at faith-based organisations. Pose us your questions!' 

Serving God and Mammon?
Thu, 17 June 2021, 17:30 – 18:30 BST

Register at  

Commerce affects culture, congregation and compassion in many ways. One is when business executives are brought into a faith or not-for-profit context in leadership roles. Sometimes these skills arrive as a bonus: for example the person specification for Archbishop of Canterbury doesn’t ask for a business background. When and how should we ask for those skills? What pitfalls should we avoid?

Joanna Moriarty has worked in two very competitive marketplaces, first as a religious publisher and currently as a partner in the charities and social enterprise practice of the recruiter Green Park. Her trustee experience includes Feed the Minds, a charity focused on women’s literacy and social inclusion in the developing world, and she was a member of the Church of England Archbishops’ Anti-racism Task Force. She is designated a National Leader of Governance by the National College of Teaching and Leadership and works with boards to raise their effectiveness and impact. Joanna has recruited many business leaders for both executive and non-executive roles in faith and not-for-profit contexts.

At 5.30pm on Thursday 17 June Douglas Board, who has many years’ experience of his own as a senior recruiter, will engage in conversation with Joanna to bring out many fascinating and practical insights which can help any values-driven organisation looking to add commercial skills. Then they will respond to your questions.

Douglas initiated the HeartEdge discussion on 22 April on the human purpose of business; his current book ‘Elites: can you rise to the top without losing your soul?’ has been called ‘profound’ by the Financial Times. He is the external adviser to the Church of England’s renewal of its process of discernment for ordained ministry.