Does A New Nonprofit Board Director Really Understand Your Organization? The Board Nurturing Challenge!
By: Eugene Fram Free Digital Image
Viewer Favorite—Undated & Revised
The careful nurturing of a board member, whether for-profit or nonprofit, is critical. The pay-off of a robust orientation process is an informed and fully participating board director. The following are very similar occurrences in both for-profit and nonprofit boards:
The CEO of a transportation firm agrees to become a board director of a firm developing computer programs. He has risen through the transportation ranks with a financial background, but he knows little about the dynamics of the computer industry.
A finance professor is asked to serve on the board of a nonprofit school serving handicapped children. She has no children of her own and has never had any contact with handicapped children, social workers or teachers serving handicapped children. (more…)
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…)
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…)
At coffee recently a friend serving on a nonprofit board reported plans to resign from the board shortly. His complaints centered on the board’s unwillingness to take critical actions necessary to help the organization grow.
Once Again: How Should Nonprofits Conduct Board Evaluations?*
By: Eugene Fram
Process Expectations Including:
• Value of board materials: board book delivery time prior to meetings, material clarity, meeting notices, etc. Are board books delivered a week ahead of meetings?
• Stakeholder Relations: Board interactions with various nonprofit stakeholders, especially staff. To what extent do directors meet with key stakeholders? To asses this expectation, are records noted of these
interactions? Which directors are most adept at building these relationships?
• Willingness to evaluate qualitative outcomes** To what are data developed that go beyond typical records such as accounting statements and membership records? What about the more difficult data to develop, such as brand
image and impact on the community? Hearsay evidence should not be used to assess these important outcomes.
• Composition of the board in regard to diversity including gender, skills, age, board experiences, etc. Does the organization have a diversity policy? Do current board members have sufficient prior board experiences in
order to act as models for new members without prior board experience?
• Action plans including a summary, for the board minutes, which obligates the board professionally to take action and may have liability implications if plans are not executed. The plan should provide evidence of a robust
evaluation. With luck, some nonprofits may be able to relate their field accreditation processes with the action plans.
Following is part of a blog that I strongly suggest that you, your colleagues and friends associated with nonprofit or trustee organizations read carefully. As you read it, pleas keep the following in mind:
I think the situation presented here is more common than most directors/trustees think. As a layperson, I am surprised that the court did not spread the fine among all the directors.
The chairman was clearly trying to support a nonprofit in trouble. Perhaps he was so dedicated to the mission that he was trying to do everything possible to save it?
Not Shown here is the fact that, “[T]he chairman is burdened with proving that they (the IRS) are not correct. … The law does not require the individual to have complete control over the finances, only what the court calls significant control.”
For more insights in how to avoid such situations, review these items on my blog site. Other items also may be of interest http://bit.ly/yfRZpz .