Nonprofit fiscal operating discretion

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.




Nonprofit Fraud Robs Charities of Substantial Dollars

“According to a Washington Post analysis of the filings from 2008-2012 … of more than 1,000 nonprofit organizations, … there was a significant diversion of nonprofit assets, disclosing losses attributed to theft, investment frauds, embezzlement and other unauthorized uses of funds.” The top 20 organizations in the Post’s analysis had a combined potential total loss of more than a half-billion dollars. One estimate, by Harvard University’s Houser Center for Nonprofit Organizations, suggests that fraud losses among U.S. nonprofits are approximately $40 billion a year.

Program Reductions Are Mandated—What Can A Nonprofit Do?

Program Reductions Are Mandated—What Can A Nonprofit Do?

The word from management is that the board of directors has decreed there will be program cuts. Regardless of the rationale, be it financial or mission-related, the proposed loss is a source of concern to directors and is a common nonprofit board challenge in the 21st century.
Reactions are varied and I invite you to share your board experience on the topic; here are some deliberations that I have encountered in the past: (more…)

Attn: Nonprofit Directors & Trustee Directors – Some History to Ponder

Although this article may focus on for-profit boards, there is a great deal in it for nonprofits to ponder. It again shows that although the mission vision and values differ between the two types of boards, operationally there is much that can be learned from each other

What Are Nonprofit Directors’ Duties During Merger, Acquisition or Being Acquired?

What Are Nonprofit Directors’ Duties During Merger, Acquisition or Being Acquired?

By Eugene Fram

Craig Leonard, Morrison & Foerster, LLP has a comprehensive article in the February 25, issue of Board covering director duties of for-profit organizations when a takeover occurs.  Many of his topics listed also can be applied to nonprofits, (more…)

Nonprofit Internal Controls – Are They Being Properly Reviewed?

Nonprofit Internal Controls – Are They Being Properly Reviewed?

By Eugene Fram

One of the responsibilities of either a nonprofit or a for-profit board is to make certain that internal controls in place are adequate.  This task is usually delegated to an audit committee and/or a finance committee.  However, what is meant by internal controls can vary greatly depending of the type of nonprofit and the clients that it services.

Fortunately, De La Rosa Nonprofit Consulting has developed a comprehensive checklist that directors can use to frame internal control questions for the auditors.  ( Using the list, the committee can chose the relevant questions before meeting with the auditors and then be able to delve more deeply into significant topics for their organization. 

Will New York Lead the Way In Changing Nonprofits?

Will New York Lead the Way In Changing Nonprofits?

By: Eugene Fram

In January, Governor Andrew Como place a salary state funded cap of $199,000 for nonprofit executives at (more…)

How Does A Nonprofit CEO Decline Board Advice?

How does a president/CEO turn down advice about operations or internal structure from the board.

With difficulty.  It all depends on the type of culture that has been established by the board.  Ideally, the president/CEO should be comfortable saying, (more…)

How Often Should a Nonprofit Audit Committee Meet?

How Often Should a Nonprofit Audit Committee Meet?

By Eugene Fram

            Under “usual” conditions, the audit committee should meet at least twice  a year, once just before the annual audit to understand how the audit is going to be conducted and then after the auditor’s management  letter has been received.  If other major issues arise, such as a major change in the organizations pension plan, more meetings will be required with outside counsel ,  experts  in  the area being discussed. 

Part of each meeting with the external auditors is held in executive session.  This is one of the few times that management is excluded  from a meeting.  Some boards, in recent years, however, devote some part of most meetings to an executive session.   (more…)

Limits on President/CEO’s Fiscal Discretion

Do boards set a dollar limit on the president/CEO’s fiscal discretion?

The chief executive should have  complete discretion as long as he or she works within the budget and budgetary  guidelines.  However, if any major changes are needed, the board must approve them.  For example, (more…)