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I think it can be safely said that nonprofits that have revenues and equally important, savings, have an enhanced ability to pursue mission. It of course is worth saying that volunteers and donated goods and services matter and matter a lot, but unrestricted assets and income equally matters and often are a game changer for a nonprofit's pursuit of ission.

So what happens if, in a moment, assets dissapear? Impossible you say? Not really as I reagularly feature events when internal thefts wipe-out the short-term ability of some nonprofits to operate. Greenpeace India on the other hand has experienced a real stoppage of the use of its money. The India Reserve Bank put a freeze on Greenpeace's (and five other nonprofit's) financial assets. Greenpeace activities in the pursuit of mission have actually begun to do their job and the government has retaliated - pretty much a tit-for-tat event. The courts have told the India Reserve Bank it has to un-freeze the assets so Greenpeace's temporary crises is pretty much over.

I'm pretty confident that Greenpeace's board, like the other nonprofit boards, dedicated to what the believe is right for the public and the earth, knew what to expect from the government it was holding accountable. This board understood the financial risks but proceeded to act. I'm also believing that the board had a plan in the event of government action - use of media, other partners ready to jump-in, perhaps even other methods for paying for its expenses.

I offer that this is good and responsible governance. Noting that during this week we have recognized and honored the work of Martin Luther King and the nonprofit boards who stood beside him, kudos to Greenpeace and its sister organizations and to all nonprofit boards who have pursued mission regardless of the risks.

To learn a bit more about the Greenpeace situation, check here.

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