non-profit management

Stay on That Nonprofit Board!

id-100264818Stay on That Nonprofit Board!

By: Eugene Fram                      Free Digital Photo

Viewer Favorite Updated and Revised

Gene Takagi, noted San Francisco attorney, who specializes in nonprofit organizations published an article listing 12 reasons for resigning from a nonprofit board. It is worth reading. (http://bit.ly1r2M5Hi)

BUT

Nonprofit directors often become impatient with the slow pace of progress toward positive changes that will  impact client services. Here are some actions that may change the situation, improve service to clients and prepare the organization for any long-term mission disruptions. These changes may be necessary to sustain the nonprofit in uncertain times.    (more…)

Once Again! Do Nonprofit Directors Face Cyber Security Risks?

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Once Again! Do Nonprofit Directors Face Cyber Security Risks?

By: Eugene Fram     Free Digital Photo

Viewer Favorite: Updated & Expanded

The cyber security (CS) debacles faced by Target, Sony Pictures and others may seem far afield from the concerns of nonprofit directors, except for the giants in the area, like AARP. However, think about this hypothetical scenario.

A group of high school students hacked into the computer system of a local nonprofit offering mental health services and gain access to records of clients, perhaps even placing some of the records of other teenagers on the internet.

What due care obligations did the board need to forestall the above situation? A move to recruit directors with special expertise in information technology or cyber security would be nonproductive. A nonprofit director has broader responsibilities such as the overview of management, approval of budgets, fostering management and staff growth etc. Similarly, when social media became a prominent issue a few years ago, boards debated the advisability of seeking directors with that specific kind of background. Today, a consultant with management experience in the area is likely needed to provide guidance to directors on these social media issues.

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Getting The Most From Your Nonprofit Board

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From: Tony Martignetti–Nonprofit Radio     Free Digital Photo

Thanks to today’s guest 10/28/2016, Eugene Fram, professor emeritus at @Rochester Institute of Technology, and author of “Going For Impact: The Nonprofit Director’s Essential Guidebook.” Let’s takeaway!

  • strive for excellence; your board & CEO should avoid mediocrity
  • avoid excess deference to CEO, board chair & major donor board members
  • be explicit about board members’ responsibilities & expectations, don’t turn it into into legalese
  • bad news must rise to management & the board
  • have a vibrant recruiting process, don’t dumb it down
  • your board’s most important job is hiring and overviewing the CEO and developing robust assessment processes
  • develop high levels of trust between Board-Management-Staff
  • understand the big differences between outcome and impact.
  • so much more, listen!

http://podcast.mpgadv.com/2016/10/313-get-the-most-from-your-board-tony-martignetti-nonprofit-radio/

 

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Better Board Governance. Is it the same for both business & nonprofit organizations?

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Better Board Governance. Is it the same for both business & nonprofit organizations?

By: Eugene Fram                  Free Digital Photo

Viewer Favorite: Updated & Enhanced

Both BoardSource in 2015 and the Charted Global Management Accountant (CGMA) in 2012 have issued reports on improving board governance. The former group focuses on nonprofit boards and the latter focuses on business boards globally.* Both the nonprofit and business organization reports listed the following prime areas for board improvement or focus: The CGMA report called for improved strategy development & risk analysis; better boardroom behaviors; better relationships between board & management. The BoardSource report asked for improved focus on strategy, with much less emphasis on operations; more board commitment, engagement, & attendance; better self-assessment, recruitment & development.

Although the CGMA report does not differentiate the types (strategic vs. operational strategy) the “risk oversight” notation can indicate there is a need for greater board focus on long-term strategy. For nonprofit boards, the strategic side of planning is often neglected. There has been a decades-long board culture support for directors’ involvement in operational decisions, often leading to board micromanagement and less strategic interest.

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How Do Nonprofit Leaders Manage Unsolicited “Great Ideas?”

How Do Nonprofit Leaders Manage Unsolicited “Great Ideas?”id-100134015

By: Eugene Fram                                                                                  Free  Digital Photo

What does a board member or CEO do when a donor or valued volunteer approaches him/h with a great idea that needs to be implemented at once? Since most of these ideas are what a Stanford professor terms bad ideas, the board chair and CEO are often between a hypothetical rock and a hard place!  To agree to a proposed project that is impractical or irrelevant to the mission will put the nonprofit at risk. But to reject an eager volunteer or potential donor could have serious donor related financial or interpersonal consequences.

When bad ideas are suggested, nonprofit directors and CEOs traditionally have hastily reviewed them—then prolonged the evaluation process hoping the presenter will lose interest in it. When an immediate reply is called for, a full review of the project will involve board and management time and effort to provide a fair assessment. If the verdict is negative, everyone hopes for the best!

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Establishing Effective Nonprofit Board Committees – What to Do.

Establishing Effective Nonprofit Board Committees – What to Do.

By Eugene Fram

Updated & Revised. 

Following are ways that many nonprofit boards have established effective board committees using my governance model as described in the third edition of Policy vs. Paper Clips.

https://goo.gl/j4EK5P

• In the planning effort, focus board personnel and financial resources only on those topics that are germane to the organization at a particular time. For example, financial planning, long-range planning or short-range planning. However the board needs to be open to generative planning if new opportunities present themselves or are developed via board leadership. (more…)

Identify Nonprofit Staff Groups To Help Drive Organizational Change

Identify Nonprofit Staff Groups To Help Drive Organizational Change

By Eugene Fram

Nonprofit executive directors tend to think of the staff professionals as individual contributors. These individuals are persons who mainly work on their own and not as team players – for instance, counselors, health care professionals, curators and university faculty. However, many executive directors fail to recognize that these individual contributors can be grouped according to identifiable types, with differing work value outlooks. Each group needs to be managed differently to drive change in today’s fast moving social, political and technological environments. Nonprofit board members need to use these groupings in their responsibilities for  overseeing promotable staff members.    (more…)

Good News for Nonprofit Board Members & CEOs—

 

Good News for Nonprofit Board Members & CEOs—Examples For The Behvorial Sciences

By Eugene Fram

Behavioral economics, finance and marketing apparently are making significant strides in helping nonprofits to understand how to maximize their development efforts. Following are two studies that appear to have significant nonprofit interest.

(http://www.behaviouralinsights.co.uk/bx2015/rounding-up-the-latest-insights-from-behavioural-exchange-2016/(more…)

Do Business and Nonprofit Boards Have Common MOs?

Do Business and Nonprofit Boards Have Common MOs?

By: Eugene Fram

My blog posts in the past have frequently suggested that nonprofit boards can successfully adapt common practices used by for-profit boards. Gail McGovern, former senior business executive, now CEO of the American Red Cross posits that both types of boards innately borrow from each other’s operating traditions. * Following are my reactions to the major issues she raises: (more…)

Big Data Are Great—But Imperfect Metrics Work for Nonprofit Boards!

Big Data Are Great—But Imperfect Metrics Work for Nonprofit Boards!

By Eugene Fram

Nonprofit boards need to expand their evaluations of nonprofit managers and their organizations adding more behavioral impacts * to their evaluations.
For example it might be the number of volunteers that have been trained by the organizations. But boards must go to the next level in the 21st century.
In the case of volunteers, they must seek to understand the impacts on those trained. They need, for instance, to understand how well these volunteers are assisting clients and how they are representing the nonprofit to the clients. The training is a process, but their relationships with clients are impacts.

Qualitative data must be developed to the next level, and the average nonprofit CEO will argue that he/she doesn’t have the staff or expertise to develop impact data. Engaging an outside organization to complete a simple project can cost thousands of dollars. (more…)