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Mike Burns's Blog (78)

Nonprofit Board Values and Ethics

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,…

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Added by Mike Burns on June 12, 2014 at 3:41pm — No Comments

Nonprofit Board Diversity

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…

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Added by Mike Burns on June 5, 2014 at 3:55pm — No Comments

Nonprofit Governance is Passion

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…

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Added by Mike Burns on May 29, 2014 at 3:40pm — No Comments

Nonprofit Board Fails

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…

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Added by Mike Burns on May 22, 2014 at 3:46pm — No Comments

Nonprofit Board Lending: Why Counsel Matters

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…

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Added by Mike Burns on May 15, 2014 at 3:33pm — No Comments

Nonprofit Board Composition and Orientation

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…

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Added by Mike Burns on May 1, 2014 at 3:34pm — No Comments

Nonprofit Closure

$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…

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Added by Mike Burns on April 23, 2014 at 2:44pm — No Comments

Nonprofit Board Composition

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…

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Added by Mike Burns on April 17, 2014 at 2:11pm — No Comments

Nonprofit Board Engagement Governance

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…

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Added by Mike Burns on April 9, 2014 at 3:29pm — No Comments

Nonprofit Board/CEO Communications Matters

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…

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Added by Mike Burns on April 3, 2014 at 2:30pm — No Comments

Nonprofit Leadership and Not

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…

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Added by Mike Burns on March 27, 2014 at 2:41pm — No Comments

Nonprofit Board Politeness

The following is an interesting "article" from Eugen Fram about what I call "polite" boards. Read and learn and feel free to share your own experiences and thoughts on the matter.

<a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/news/nonprofit-board-professionalism/" target="_blank">&lt;a href=&quot;http://http://www.huffingtonpost.com/news/nonprofit-board-professionalism/&quot;…

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Added by Mike Burns on March 19, 2014 at 2:32pm — No Comments

Nonprofit Fundraising Board

It is believed, and there's evidence among the mega-nonprofits to support this contention, that a fundraising board can make the make or break difference for a nonprofit.  A Wall Street Journal article on the prospects for the WTC…

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Added by Mike Burns on March 12, 2014 at 3:50pm — No Comments

Nonprofit Board Values

"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…

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Added by Mike Burns on March 5, 2014 at 1:26pm — No Comments

Nonprofit Board Addresses Having Done Serious Harm

Nonprofit Board Addresses Having Done Serious Harm

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…

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Added by Mike Burns on February 26, 2014 at 11:30am — No Comments

Nonprofit Governance Not Intuitive

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…

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Added by Mike Burns on February 18, 2014 at 11:55am — No Comments

Haas National Survey of Development Directors

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 …

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Added by Mike Burns on May 31, 2012 at 2:00pm — No Comments

Nonprofit capacity builder webinars

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

March…

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Added by Mike Burns on March 1, 2011 at 10:43am — No Comments

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Neighborhoods: What is Working

Open Street Project

An Open Streets Family Reunion: Reflections from the 2018 Open Streets Summit

By Ryan O’Connor, Director of Programs, 8 80 Cities Recently 8 80 Cities wrote a blog post about open streets being a labour of love. That being the case, the 2018 Open Streets Summit in New Orleans felt like a family reunion of sorts. It was rejuvenating to see old and new friends who share our passion for open streets and are working tirelessly to create healthier, happier, and more connected communities across the world. The event, which took place on September 15-16, brought together more than 50 leaders who currently organize open streets programs or are interested in bringing the...

The post An Open Streets Family Reunion: Reflections from the 2018 Open Streets Summit appeared first on Open Streets Project.

Open Streets Summit Draft Agenda

We hope you are getting ready and feel excited about the Open Streets Summit in Gretna/New Orleans! Taking place from September 15-16, 2018, the Summit will feature tours, presentations and networking opportunities with open streets champions and organizers from across the continent. Attendees will learn about the nuts and bolts of starting or scaling up open streets programs, including: Route design and planning Partnerships with business and officials Social inclusion Safety and logistics Marketing and promotion Program evaluation through measurable goals and metrics If you haven’t done it yet, click here to register for the Open Streets Summit only or...

The post Open Streets Summit Draft Agenda appeared first on Open Streets Project.

Open Streets Summit Speakers Announced!

The Open Streets Project is proud to announce that Ed Solis from Viva Calle (San Jose, CA), Romel Pascual from CicLAvia (Los Angeles, CA), Jaymie Santiago and Charles Brown from New Brunswick Ciclovia will join us as speakers for the 2018 Open Streets Summit in New Orleans and Gretna! Taking place from September 15-16 2018, the Summit will feature: Behind the scenes tour of the City of Gretna’s inaugural open streets program. Workshops, presentations, and networking opportunities with open streets champions and organizers from across the continent. Training and inspiration for both -novice and experienced- open streets organizers and supporters...

The post Open Streets Summit Speakers Announced! appeared first on Open Streets Project.

Local Initiatives Support Corporation

What We're Reading, 8/20/19

Check out our top three reads of the week covering the challenges and opportunities in American communities. This week, we’re delving into an intensive series on the all-encompassing legacies of slavery, a 101 on the arcane universe of zoning codes, and the prohibitive costs of youth sports.

New Ideas from a New Generation: LISC’s Emerging Leaders Council

There’s a new kind of board at LISC, composed of a diverse crew of younger professionals who are leaders in their fields. Their mission? To bring fresh perspectives, networks and attention to LISC’s work and help us achieve even greater impact in the communities we care about.

The Anatomy of an Inclusive—and Successful—Community Partnership: Q&A with Thomas Wyatt

Thomas Wyatt, a researcher, urban planner and 2019 Rubinger Fellow from Flint, Michigan, discusses what it takes to forge cross-sector partnerships that can achieve authentic community change. A prime example: Flint’s University Avenue Corridor Coalition brought residents and institutions together to reduce a neighborhood’s entrenched blight and crime when nothing else could.

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