December 19, 2011
Management and Leadership
Habitat for Humanity was founded in 1976 by Millard and Linda Fuller. The couple had a dream of following their Christian lifestyle and helping others in need. They wanted to help families living in poverty and build new homes. The idea was they would build housed with no profit and charge no interest. “The concept that grew into Habitat for Humanity International was born at Koinonia Farm, a small, interracial, Christian farming community founded in 1942 outside of Americus, Ga., by farmer and biblical scholar Clarence Jordan. Building would be financed by a revolving Fund for Humanity. The fund's money would come from the new homeowners' house payments, donations and no-interest loans provided by supporters and money earned by fund-raising activities. The monies in the Fund for Humanity would be used to build more houses” ("Thrivent Builds With Habitat For Humanity ", 2011). The organization took off with unbelievable results. The Fullers took their organization internationally and have now since built over 400,000 homes. Leading and managing an organization such as Habitat for Humanity involves a multitude of diverse ideas, visions, and people. “What is the difference between management and leadership? It is a question that has been asked more than once and also answered in different ways. The biggest difference between managers and leaders is the way they motivate the people who work or follow them, and this sets the tone for most other aspects of what they do” ("Leadership Vs. Management", 2002-2011). Habitat for Humanity starts with the board of directors. Habitat for Humanity International board members oversee the direction of Habitat’s activities worldwide as the organization works to eradicate substandard housing. Directors are elected to two-year terms that may be renewed four times. They receive no compensation for their voluntary service. The board of directors is responsible for affiliate policies and procedures, program development, financial stewardship, supervision of volunteer staff, fundraising, public relations, and legal matters. There are global directors that “represent the Asia-Pacific region in the global Habitat communications team in the creation and implementation of worldwide brand building, marketing and advocacy initiatives and campaigns. This includes devising Asia-Pacific roll-out strategies; liaising and sharing with peers in other Habitat regions; and coordinating and collaborating with the HQ communications team on global strategies and initiatives” ("Alertnet", 2011). The organization is made up mostly of volunteers and describes different levels among the organization as committees. The development, site selection, and public relations committees are just a few of the different leadership levels Habitat for Humanity has. The development committee is responsible for raising funds and for introducing people to our work. This committee is also responsible for special events and outreach to businesses. The site selection committee works with town officials and developers to identifying and evaluating potential sites for new Habitat homes. This committee is always looking for new members with insight into the local real estate market and the inner workings of town government. The public relations committee is responsible for raising awareness of Habitat for Humanity in our service area. Responsibilities include media relations and publishing a quarterly newsletter. In a non-profit organization there is often very little direction offered to volunteers, leaving them with many decisions to be made on their own. There is a lot of focus on the bigger picture, which in this case is to provide as many families as possible with shelter. However, the steps to achieving the overall goals or mission are not as clearly defined as would be in a profit-seeking company....