A recent shake-up in a nonprofit dependent on its credibility and adherence to high ethical standards can serve to remind nonprofit board and staff that conflicts of interest are not specific to board members alone.
"The CFA Institute (Chartered Financial Analyst Institute) is best known for administering the Chartered Financial Analyst exams, a rigorous test of financial analysis and ethics. This year, nearly 150,000 candidates from 179 countries registered to take one of the exams,… Continue
Added by Mike Burns on June 12, 2014 at 3:41pm —
How much does diversity really matter to an organization--externally?
A New York Times article took a look at how today's organizations may have even put into their policies a commitment to diversifying their boards but have very little to show to this commitment. The Times asks: Companies today earn points…
Added by Mike Burns on June 5, 2014 at 3:55pm —
This year is the 150th anniversary of what was once known as the Girls Club of America and is now called Girls Inc. The story of Girls Inc involved seven women, the founding board, who shared a passion and a commitment to get the job done. I pose that this is what governance is all about.
Here's the story from the Christian Science… Continue
Added by Mike Burns on May 29, 2014 at 3:40pm —
When the US Justice Department says to your nonprofit board: " the one-man staff of Philadelphia Safety Net, repeatedly gave himself raises without board approval." you know you must be doing something wrong.
But this is indeed what the Justice Department said to the Philadelphia-based Safety Net which was undergoing an audit from having received its funds through its Congressman's earmark. Turns out that the organization, staffed by one individual who was a former staff member to the… Continue
Added by Mike Burns on May 22, 2014 at 3:46pm —
The case of a New York City minister, his wife and the executive director have agreed to pay-back loans with interest and penalties they borrowed from their church and two related nonprofits. I am scratching my head a bit over the "must pay back clause" because the Wall Street Journal doesn't really indicate there was any intention not to pay back their loan (which they used to buy a house and property. Some of the loan was also used to buy a car (yes, a BMW). Alas, additional monies were… Continue
Added by Mike Burns on May 15, 2014 at 3:33pm —
I recently observed a nonprofit's board members panicking over the organization's total annual deficit of $23,000. Members seriously questioned the exec's abilities.
The organization's annual budget: $8 million. The deficit, less than 1% of the annual budget.
Many of the board members have grown old with their organization with some having been members for 25 years, since the founding of the organization (that's likely not the best scenario). The nonprofit started as most do… Continue
Added by Mike Burns on May 1, 2014 at 3:34pm —
$100 million from the Gates Foundation, InBloom has faded into the night. In brief terms, InBloom was designed to wharehouse and store student data for public school systems which in turn can streamline how teachers and administrators accessed student records. The system was meant to extract student data from disparate school grading and attendance databases, store it in the cloud and funnel it to dashboards where teachers might more effectively track the progress of individual… Continue
Added by Mike Burns on April 23, 2014 at 2:44pm —
I often hear board members I'm working with say: we need to add a lawyer. And indeed, lawyers are popular additions to nonprofit boards but I'm not quite certain as to what exactly is expected with the addition of one. True, lawyers have a way of thinking, a process or discipline, that can be helpful to a board when fiduciary and sometimes strategic matters are up for discussion (which should be every meeting). True, lawyers know particular legal disciplines. For example, real estate lawyers… Continue
Added by Mike Burns on April 17, 2014 at 2:11pm —
Nonprofit community engagement governance "is a new framework in which governance responsibility is shared across the organizational system, distributing the work of governance among the key stakeholders of an organization: its constituents and community, staff and board. The Community Engagement Governance Framework is based upon the established principles of participatory democracy, self-determination, genuine partnership, and on community-level decision-making. The Framework goes beyond… Continue
Added by Mike Burns on April 9, 2014 at 3:29pm —
Just how much communication and in what form should be conducted between the nonprofit CEO and the board and the chair of the board?
I think the answer to this question is predicated by the questions: how much does communication and what communication matters to the CEO and respectively, the board and board chair? I further think the answers to these questions is predicated on an understanding about what is meant by "partnership" - the popular description of what should be the… Continue
Added by Mike Burns on April 3, 2014 at 2:30pm —
The following New York Times article is a good example of what I think nonprofit leadership can (the now retired Chancellor) and not (the Board of Regents). While the University is not precisely a nonprofit nor a Board of Regents precisely a board of directors, I believe the principles apply just the same.
Here is the… Continue
Added by Mike Burns on March 27, 2014 at 2:41pm —
Added by Mike Burns on March 19, 2014 at 2:32pm —
Added by Mike Burns on March 12, 2014 at 3:50pm —
"The only wrong with tainted money is that there taint enough of it" (General Booth).
A more true statement there isn't for the survivors of the New York ExxonMobile oil spill nonprofit and public entities now attempting to get a piece of the $19.5 million to be distributed in $25K segments. And according to the… Continue
Added by Mike Burns on March 5, 2014 at 1:26pm —
What do you do when your organization's president and other top administrators appear to have failed to significantly develop and institute polices and procedures that would fully protect the organization from harm and harming? Well, first you release yourself from any obligations and connections to those that failed. You also start developing and putting into…
Added by Mike Burns on February 26, 2014 at 11:30am —
Included in February 2014 Governing Magazine is an article on the challenges public officials and boards face understanding the nuances of finances. Within the article is a line: "government finance is anything but intuitive."
To this point I propose that nonprofit governance is anything but intuitive, at least for the majority of…
Added by Mike Burns on February 18, 2014 at 11:55am —
Interested in sharing your insights about your work in development (you know aka fundraising)? Take the Haas Foundation & Compass Point National Development Director Survey. http://go.madmimi.com/redirects/1338485415-fd208e0be221eceeef559d83148a8a68-804e4b6?pa=9612370389
If you’re interested in hearing more about the research please contact Marla … Continue
Added by Mike Burns on May 31, 2012 at 2:00pm —
In my role as a board member of the Alliance for Nonprofit Management, I would like to let you know about webinars that the Alliance is sponsoring. I think that you may find these useful and informative, especially if you are concerned about strengthening nonprofit capacity.
March 3: Helping Nonprofits Survive a Crisis with Kim Klein, widely regarded author of Reliable Fundraising in Unreliable Times, the 2010 McAdams Book Award Winner
Added by Mike Burns on March 1, 2011 at 10:43am —