Sunday, June 21, 2009

Tooting my Horn for Tutelary


You just never know what you'll run into during a morning of blog and newspaper reading. How about Dictionary.com's Word of the Day? And wouldn't you know that today's word is quite coincidentally "tutelary", and apt word for the kind of blog I'm trying to create here.

tutelary \TOO-tuh-lair-ee; TYOO-\ , adjective: Having the guardianship or charge of protecting a person or a thing; guardian; protecting; as, "tutelary goddesses."

My thoughts immediately ran to the nature of trusteeship -- and leadership -- when I read the definition. Even the strongest nonprofits need their fair share of protectors...maybe even a goddess or two. That's what trustees and staff leaders do.


The word "fiduciary" gets bandied about when talking about trustees -- meant in a lot of contexts as SHOULD BE RAISING (MORE) MONEY. You'll see from the definition that the money bit is, at most, implied:

fi⋅du⋅ci⋅ar⋅y

[fi-doo-shee-er-ee, -dyoo-] Show IPA noun,plural -ar⋅ies, adjective

–noun
1. Law. a person to whom property or power is entrusted for the benefit of another.

–adjective
2. Law. of or pertaining to the relation between a fiduciary and his or her principal: a fiduciary capacity; a fiduciary duty.
3. of, based on, or in the nature of trust and confidence, as in public affairs: a fiduciary obligation of government employees.
4. depending on public confidence for value or currency, as fiat money.

When we become the fiduciary, our better selves put on the tutelary mantle.

Photo: 112 little guardians by kalandrakas

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