nonprofit boards

Eliminating the Nonprofit Board’s Addiction to Micromanaging

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Eliminating the Nonprofit Board’s Addiction to Micromanaging

By: Eugene Fram

Micromanaging is the DNA of many nonprofit boards. It all starts with the community model culture of start-up periods. Board members have to assume staff roles to drive the nonprofit operations. But it often continues long after an adequate staff is in place. By habit, the board still focuses on operational details—also known as “reviewing the weeds.”   I recently observed a board that was making a policy decision about the change in timing of an annual development event.   Once the decision was made, the directors continued a “weed type” discussion about about table locations, invitations and other issues that were in the job of management to implement. The nonprofit is about 50 years old and has a budget of $10 Million with a 100 person staff. (more…)

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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…)

Once Again! What Does Nonprofit Board Oversight Mean?

Once Again! What Does Nonprofit Board Oversight Mean?

By: Eugene Fram

Updated & Revised

I have a daily (7 days a week) subscription to Google Alerts on “Nonprofit Management” and “Nonprofit Governance.” Every week, three or four nonprofit case stories surface, in these listings, related to inadequate oversight by nonprofit boards of directors.  Many of the cases result six or seven figure dollar losses to the nonprofits. Following is my personal list of what reasonable board oversight means to attempt to help nonprofit boards of directors to avoid such losses. (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…)

Can A Nonprofit Organization Have A President/CEO & An Executive Director?

Can A Nonprofit Organization Have A President/CEO & An Executive Director?

By: Eugene H. Fram

Viewer Favorite Revised & Updated

Yes, if the organization has the following structure:

Board With A Volunteer Chairperson
President/CEO With Full Authority for Operations
Executive Director for Division A
Executive Director for Division B

However this structure can be confusing to persons in the nonprofit arena. The executive director should have final authority for all operational matters related to the organization, except those designated for the board in the bylaws. For example, pensions plan changes.

The big question is who carries the CEO title. Some nonprofits, in their early stages, have a volunteer, part-time, President/CEO and an operational Executive Director. This signifies the volunteer, representing the will of the board, can have final authority in all daily and policy issues. This is not a good structure because the CEO title might lead to the volunteer having liabilities that other board members don’t have. (more…)

Nonprofit Board Members Have The Potential To Become Great Ambassadors!

Nonprofit Board Members Have The Potential To Become Great Ambassadors!

By: Eugene Fram

There is no shortage of able communicators on most nonprofit boards. Directors usually bring a degree of passion, purpose and special abilities to their term of service. Many come with business or professional environments that require at least a measure of experience in advocacy.

But rarely do Board Chairs and CEOs avail themselves of the opportunity to develop nonprofit directors as fully functioning ambassadors for the organization. With a constantly rotating board and emerging crises, it becomes difficult to find the time and energy to coach board members in the art of putting the organization’s public face on view. In some cases the CEO simply doesn’t encourage contact between the board and staff. At other times, they fail to include selected directors in important conversations with key public figures and/or major donors or foundation executives. Such omissions represent a major talent loss in the advocacy process. (more…)

Who is Primarily Accountable for Long Term Planning – Board or CEO?

Who is Primarily Accountable for Long Term Planning – Board or CEO?

By: Eugene Fram

THE QUESTION

Can you further clarify whom you see as accountable for making what decisions in relation to the various aspects of corporate strategy creation and execution? If the board approves the CEO’s decisions do they not become board decisions? Where is the scope for the CEO to be accountable for making his or her own decisions?

MY ANSWER
“(My model)… promotes accountability. It requires the board and the CEO to work together to paint the big picture for the organization. It then holds the CEO accountable for implementing that vision. The (board’s) planning and resource committee (also) plays a major part in painting this picture by helping the organization and the CEO to look ahead to look to the future.”

Now for some details also found in “Policy vs. Paper Clips. * (http://amzn.to/eu7nQl) (more…)