Nonprofit & Trustee Directors Alert! Watch your organization’s reputation.
In contrast to business firms, nonprofit and trustee boards can be against a brick wall when the reputations of their organizations go south. In the commercial environment, the directors can be in a position to take swift actions to halt the decline, as Tylenol did in the 1980s when outsiders compromised its products. Nonprofits have a built in problems to acting with the same alacrity. Directors and chairs rotate too frequently. In additional, for-profit organizations often have the financial resources to retain outside counsel. Few nonprofit organizations can afford the same action level and support.
Here are few suggestions to remedy the situation:
* At the minimum, have some modest crisis management plan in place. Review it annually.
*Appoint someone to monitor Internet information sources. Some monitoring sources are free, like Google Alerts, and the service does a good job recording most Internet citations where your organization is mentioned. Other fee paid services are available.
- Alert all board members to the reputational risk issue. Even unsubstantiated rumors need to be brought to the director’s and management attention immediately.
- Have an internal “hot line” available so that volunteers and employees can report information without embarrassment.
- Require the CEO to immediately report all reputational comments to the board chair, so that the two can review the information and take action.
- ATTENTION CANADIAN READERS: I have international readers ever day, but I am pleased to report that Canadians consistently account for 10% or more of all readers. I would appreciate your comments on the issues that draw Canadians to my blog. Thanks.