nonprofit president/ceo

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…)

Board Members: Does Your Nonprofit Know How To Engage Business Donors?

Board Members: Does Your Nonprofit Know How To Engage Business Donors?

By: Eugene Fram

Fund development should be a partnership between board members and CEOs/Development Officers, if the latter is available. However, I have noted that board members don’t take sufficient responsibility to make certain that CEOs and Development directors are well prepared when they approach potential business donors. This, in my view, is the first step in building a relationship fundraising approach.

Many involved with NFP fundraising or management have spent their entire careers in the nonprofit environment, resulting in a gap in communicating with those in the business environment. Some may even privately believe that those in business contribute less significantly to society. While little can be done about the latter, here is what I think can be done to fill or reduce the unfortunate gap in cultures often found between for-profits and nonprofits, especially when it relates to fund development. (more…)

11 Ways to a Stronger Nonprofit Board

11 Ways to a Stronger Nonprofit Board

By Eugene Fram

There’s lots of advice out there on how to build a strong and smoothly functioning nonprofit Board of Directors. Dr. Richard LeBlanc, York University law professor, had public companies in mind when he recently published 40 proposals to improve board governance. Many of his suggestions I find extremely relevant to NFP boards and their longstanding challenges. Here are some of my adaptations of his proposals. (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. (more…)

Custom Designing A New Nonprofit’s Chief Executive Orientation

Custom Designing A New Nonprofit’s Chief Executive Orientation

By: Eugene Fram

Under a customized format, the nonprofit board tailors a program that helps the new executive develop a solid base in the organization and understand its unique climate and culture. Properly structured, this orientation takes about a year to complete. (more…)

Is Your Nonprofit a “Slim & Smart” High Performance Nonprofit?

Is Your Nonprofit a “Slim & Smart” High Performance Nonprofit? 

By Eugene Fram

The “slim and smart” nonprofit approach does not involve specific steps but instead calls for management to develop an overall transitional framework and climate for the organization.[i] It does, however, require planning with sufficient lead-time. (more…)

Volunteers Alert: Are You President/CEO of a Nonprofit?

 Volunteers Alert: Are You President/CEO of a Nonprofit? Charity boards

By: Eugene Fram

Nonprofit volunteer directors who hold the title of President/CEO and then have the chief operations officer listed as the Executive Director may be in for a surprise. (more…)

The Nonprofit President/CEO – How Much Board Trust Is Needed?

The Nonprofit President/CEO – How Much Board Trust Is Needed?

By; Eugene Fram

The title president/CEO clearly signals to the public who has the final authority in all operating matters and can speak for the organization.  They are not an ambiguous set of titles   However, the terms “manager’ or “executive director’ can be quite ambiguous and do not have the same external clout..  An executive director can be the administrator in a small church or the operational head of a large arts organization. The public and some corporate directors often view managers and executive directors (because of the organizational history of nonprofit) as “hired hands,” not as managerial professionals who are able to manage all operational activities. 

The president/CEO designation calls for a trusting relationship with the board based on mutual respect,  drawing from the symbolism that he or she is the operating link between board and staff.  It is a new type of partnership culture.  However, from a assessment viewpoint, the board still has a legal and moral obligation to ‘trust but verify.”

Source:  Policy vs. Paper Clips, pp.35-36, Third Edition (2011).  Available on in paperback or Kindle format. 

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Once Again! Should a Nonprofit CEO Be a Voting Member of the Board of Directors?

Once Again! Should a Nonprofit CEO Be a Voting Member of the Board of Directors?

I was surprised to read in a Board Source nonprofit report that this board of directors’ question is one of the most frequently asked. From a Google search, I was also surprised to find that, outside of a few vague references that there may be legal issues involved with the decision, (more…)