nonprofit evaluation

Attention Nonprofits: If You Want to Avoid “The Squeeze,” Here’s the One Strategy That Can Help

With a competitive landscape in which spiraling demands are offset by a financing squeeze, nonprofits organizations have entered an era where only the strongest and best run will flourish, Prof. Eugene Fram, an author, consultant and nonprofit expert said in an interview. But that “strength” is easily attained, with a simple-to-implement game plan that strategically integrates the nonprofit’s board and executive staff.

“It’s a threatening squall – one I often refer to as ‘The Squeeze’,” said Prof. Fram, author of Going For Impact,” a guide to nonprofit dominance. “Just think about what’s happening. On one hand, because of slashed government budgets, there’s a growing demand for nonprofits to solve community challenges and societal ills. On the other hand, there’s the escalating challenge that nonprofits face because of a funding squeeze. Declining tax receipts are crimping many government budgets. The merger wave has slashed the number of companies that were traditionally big sources of giving. Even the recent tax cuts are squeezing funding. The competition for those fewer dollars is brutal. And that’s just on the funding side. There are also new challenges that nonprofits must address – challenges ranging from cybersecurity to sexual harassment. The bottom line is that nonprofit boards – and their directors or trustees – must be more vigilant, more informed and more proactive than ever. The good news is that the nonprofits that embrace this will be the organizations that emerge as healthy, even dominant. And the strategy isn’t that tough to enact.”

Dr. Fram recently sat down with veteran journalist William Patalon III – ironically, one of his former MBA students – to talk about the “State of the Nonprofit Sector,” and to explore what philanthropic organizations can do to “beat the squeeze.”

Here’s an edited transcript of their talk. (more…)

Do Nonprofit Directors Face Cyber Security Risk?

Do Nonprofit Directors Face Cyber Security Risk?

By: Eugene Fram      Free Digital Image

The cyber security (CS) debacles faced by Elections, Target 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. (more…)

Does A New Nonprofit Board Director Really Understand Your Organization? The Board Nurturing Challenge!

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

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!

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…)

Going For Impact–The Nonprofit Director’s Essential Guidebook: What to Know, Do and Not Do based on a veteran director’s ample field experience

Helps board members to lead wisely, effectively and efficiently.

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Nonprofit Boardroom Elephants and the “Nice Guy” Syndrome: A Complex Problem

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.

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/eugene-fram/nonprofit-boardroom-eleph_b_4916469.html

Once Again: How Should Nonprofits Conduct Board Evaluations?* Updated Reissue

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.

Director Evaluation Approaches (more…)

Nonprofit Directors/Trustees Alert: Volunteer Chairman Held Liable for Nonprofit’s Unpaid Payroll Taxes

 

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  .

Nonprofit Directors & Trustees: Are You Aware of the IRS 990 Form?
Attn: Crisis Planners – A Leadership Plan For a Nonprofit Organization in Trouble
What To Do About Weak Nonprofit Board Practices
Your Dysfunctional Nonprofit Board – What to Do
Nonprofit Management/Governance – Avoiding Fraud – Internal Controls

For the full blog see: http://www.mercadien.com/index.html


Nonprofit Directors/Trustees Alert: Volunteer Chairman Held Liable  for  Nonprofit’s  Unpaid Payroll Taxes   

by Sherise D. Ritter, CPA, CGFM, PSA

A recent tax court case held that a volunteer chairman of the Board of Trustees is personally liable for a nonprofit organization’s unpaid payroll taxes. This is a scary development (more…)

Nonprofit Alert: How Nonprofit Directors Can Acquire Independent Assurances.

Nonprofit Alert: How Nonprofit Directors Can Acquire Independent Assurances.

According to Dr. Richard Leblanc, York University Law School, “Canada’s bank regulators recommended last week that independent third party reviews of (i) of the institution’s board and committee practices; (ii) the institution’s oversight functions and processes.” He and I feel this can set the tone for non-banks and even for nonprofits (more…)