How successful Nonprofit Chief Executives Should Operate
By: Eugene Fram
Successful nonprofit chief executives, like those in the commercial positions, should share similar perspectives and beliefs. Author Jeff Haden writing in the June 25th issue of INC Magazine. about for-profit executives suggests, “9 Beliefs of Remarkably Successful People.” Following is his list and how I see how his ideas may apply to chief executives of nonprofit organizations
Nonprofit board terms are like clothing sizes. They come in all shapes and sizes!
Some terms are as short as two years, with the charter specifying the person remain off the board for one year. Other charters have systems that allow a director to remain for decades. The most common format allows the director a two three-year terms, with some exceptions relating to whether the person is originally filing an interim year or chairs the board in his/or her final year. (more…)
Nonprofit CEOs & Board Directors: How Expert Is Your CFO?
By: Eugene Fram
When hiring a chief financial officer (CFO), nonprofit organizations often find themselves with a major challenge, since many financial and accounting functions are identical. To compete, the organization may need to offer higher salaries that are somewhat competitive with for-profit organizations. Consequently, some trim the level of expertise required to fill the position. This is a dangerous move, especially if the organization is growing. Also the current CFO, if hired five or ten years ago, may not be up to date and make a major error that will harm the organization’s reputation, leading to a board restructuring and/or firing the CEO. (more…)
Why Are Dysfunctional Nonprofit Boards Interesting?
By: Eugene H. Fram
My blog (http://bit.ly/yfRZpz) has been drawing an unusual number of views related to dysfunctional nonprofit boards. Is it because:
Nonprofit evaluations has become a prime media interest?
Dodd-Frank passage has alerted a greater number of nonprofits to really review their charters?
More boards have found board problems arising as a result of reviewing the expanded 990-form section on governance?
More audit committees are being given expanded responsibilities?
Can a nonprofit organization focus on its mission vision and values if it has a dysfunctional nonprofit board? I have seen this accomplished in situations where the CEO is managerially oriented and can live with the board’s problems or foibles. For example, one nonprofit I encountered had an eleven person board, four of which never attended meetings and several others were sometimes absent for personal reasons. Meeting minutes clearly showed a focus on operational detail. However a strong CEO was able to focus well, and the organization prospered. On the other hand,the CEO openly complained that she was overworked, needed board assistance and could become a “dictator” for the nonprofit!!
In another situation I encountered, the board chair and ED were very strong, but the board governmentally weak. Work and family pressures constrained the time directors could devote to their governance responsibilities. While the organization performed reasonably well, performance problems and board liability issues might arise, if either the chair or ED retired or resigned.
If you have any other insights as to why I am getting so many views related to dysfunctional nonprofits, I and other viewers would be delighted to have your comments.
In another situation I encountered, the board chair and ED were very strong, but the board governmentally weak. Work and family pressures constrained the time directors could devote to their governance responsibilities. While the organization performed reasonably well, performance problems and liability issues might suddenly occur, if either the chair or ED retired or resigned.
The Nonprofit Quarterly Newswire (July 8th) reprinted a 2007 study showing “ The Best and Worst of Board Chairs.” Based on personal interview and online surveys, conducted by Yvonne Harrison & Vic Murphy, the study showed five major clusters for effective nonprofit chairs and one cluster for ineffective behavior. Effective chairs had; 1. Relationship Competencies; 2. Commitment & Action Competencies, 3. Analytical Skill Competencies; 4. “Willingness to Create” Competencies; 5. Ability to Influence Competencies. Ineffective Chairs had: Dominating Behavior.
I thought it would be helpful to show this leadership characteristic information along with the action attributes from previous blog. The action attributes Were developed from my field insights into the action attributes of effective chairs.
The Best Attributes of an Effective Nonprofit Board Chair
By: Eugene Fram
A nonprofit CEO’s professional attributes are the topic of dozens, perhaps even thousands, of articles. However this is not the case with Board Chairs.
Following are my views of the professional attributes a nonprofit Board Chair needs to have to operate effectively.
Has significant mission centered interest in the organization. Although the chair’s professional efforts may be far afield from the nonprofit’s objectives, he or she must be able to perceive substantial value in the outcomes of the staff and board efforts. < (more…)