nonprofits,local leaders & Grt.New Haven business sharing information
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 the Board of Directors as the sole locus of governance, and helps organizations to become more responsive to their constituent and community needs, and more adaptive to the changing environment." (see http://bloch.umkc.edu/mwcnl/resources/documents/conferences-2011/fi...).
To do this "well" a nonprofit and its board must make a commitment and act intentionaly providing guidancs and structure. I doubt that the 60 plus person board of the San Diego Opera has community engagement governance in mind (ever) although with this large of a board, it likely sometimes feels at board members that there are few community members who love opera who have been left out. This point aside, the Opera board voted to close its doors -- basically citing the lack of resources as the driver. But the opera lovers of San Diego are incensed and are holding onto the stage rigging and saying "no". They've even got a board member to offer $1 million for the board to reverse its decision (I believe this a violation of the duty of obedience, you know, once the board has made a decision) but this point not withstanding, the community is saying no to the board's saying "close".
Is this community engagement governance at its best? Perhaps not given the board's apparent lack of intention to actually solicit the community's opion about the Opera's future but isn't that the point?