Posts tagged "nonprofit Board"

What social entrepreneurship won't do (and its advocates won't tell you about)

What social entrepreneurship won’t do: This piece is a particularly acute account of the way things work, or don’t, in the nonprofit sector. The money graf, for the Nonprofiteer’s money: An uncomfortable truth: there are important social goods that nobody really wants to pay for. If you’re selling a product like an iPhone or a... Read more »

Stupid Human Tricks: How not to recruit a nonprofit Board

The Nonprofiteer thanks a faithful reader for offering this example of how not to recruit a nonprofit Board. Faithful Reader received the following e-mail, though–as she notes–”I am not even a supporter. I may have given them money once but I have no memory of doing so.” Dear Members and Friends, Some years are better... Read more »

The Platonic Ideal Statement of Nonprofit Board Member Responsibilities

Though written originally for an arts organization, this statement of nonprofit Board member responsibilities will work for every nonprofit group.  Responsibilities of Board Members 1. Attend monthly board meetings to review operations of the company. • Board meetings are an opportunity for the Executive Director to report on the company’s current programs and plans.... Read more »

Dear Nonprofiteer, Is "nonprofit ethics" an oxymoron? How to handle a conflict of interest?

Dear Nonprofiteer, Is "nonprofit ethics" an oxymoron?  How to handle a conflict of interest?
Dear Nonprofiteer, I am contacting you because I have become embroiled in an nonprofit ethics situation and I found you on the internet during one of my insomnia-fueled web searches. I recently got fired from my volunteer position on the Finance Committee of a San Diego nonprofit by its board president. (I am not on... Read more »

New York City Opera Failure: It's the Board's Fault

The Nonprofiteer has been waiting for somebody to say this: that the New York City Opera failure is, first and foremost, a failure of its Board of Directors.   Hiring a new General Manager at the eleventh hour and expecting him to somehow pull a multi-million dollar rabbit out of his hat [or ass] ranks right... Read more »

Public school funding should come from the public (duh)

Public school funding should come from the public (duh)
In the department of, “It’s about time someone said that!”–a group of wealthy people in Philadelphia condemn the use of philanthropy [especially by Eli Broad] to control public education, and argue that public school funding should come from the general public–or, as it’s sometimes called but only in whispers, taxation. H/T The Nonprofit Quarterly And... Read more »

Volunteers With Special Skills, Round 2: How to Use Them

Usually when people around nonprofits talk about how important it is to recognize contributions of time, the Nonprofiteer smells a rat. “But I give my time!” is often the excuse made by nonprofit Board members for their failure to give or raise money, to which her response is, “You can’t pay the light bill with... Read more »

Dear Nonprofiteer, The Board president wants my head because her husband wants my ass: what to do?

Dear Nonprofiteer, Five years ago the nonprofit Board and a group of Past Presidents of our management association came together to hire my partner and me to manage it. The association had basically gone bankrupt due to the Executive Director’s lack of good judgment. My business partner is a highly respected Past President of the... Read more »

Nonprofit Follies: Field Museum Cassandras Ignored

Cassandra, the always-ignored prophetess of doom, shows up frequently on nonprofit Boards, and apparently took her turn recently at the Field Museum. This fine article by Heather Gillers reveals that trustees squeezed off the Board sounded the alarm about the Field’s pattern of spending without sufficient fundraising and of selling off pieces of the collection... Read more »

Dear Nonprofiteer, Who elects the nonprofit Board?

Dear Nonprofiteer: I am a member of a nonprofit that hasn’t held elections in at least 7 years. Instead people just keep getting appointed to the nonprofit board. I finally received a copy of the bylaws after several requests. They state there are between 3-12 board members who are elected to 3 year terms. So,... Read more »
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    The Nonprofiteer is Kelly Kleiman, principal of NFP Consulting, which provides Board development, strategic planning and fund-raising services to charities and philanthropies. Through her consulting practice and in her guise as The Nonprofiteer, Kelly has spent the past 25-plus years helping small and mid-sized nonprofits organize themselves better and raise more money. These days she focuses especially on helping them use high-skill volunteers. Kelly is also a lawyer and freelance journalist whose reportage and essays have appeared in the New York Times, Wall Street Journal, Washington Post, Christian Science Monitor and other dailies; in magazines including In These Times and Chicago Philanthropy; in the alternative press; on websites including the Huffington Post; and on the radio, including the BBC and WBEZ Chicago Public Radio. She and her fellow "Dueling Critic" Jonathan Abarbanel present a weekly podcast of their reviews of Chicago theater at Earlier in her career she was dean of admissions of IIT Chicago-Kent College of Law and Executive Director of the Chicago Children’s Choir, and practiced real estate and zoning law with the firm of Rudnick & Wolfe. Kelly holds undergraduate and law degrees from the University of Chicago. She was a founding Board member of the Association of Consultants to Nonprofits and also served for 5 years on the Board of the Association for Women Journalists–Chicago. She can be reached ("Dear Nonprofiteer . . .") at

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    • In reply to Richard Davis:
      I'm fully in favor of using taxes to support transfers--I don't insist that my neighbor "give what [s/he] might not ...
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    • It would certainly be a chance to remove the corruption that government cash transfers have caused over the last 70 ...
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    • In reply to Unree Polnetz:
      True; but the Nonprofiteer is increasingly concerned about class distinctions and the Jackson sentence is a perfect example of those.
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      To be fair, Andrew and Lea Fastow of Enron fame enjoyed the same deal. Once a white couple gets ...
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    • I thought the same thing. Everyday children are separated from their parents while they do prison, rehab, whatever. Often that ...
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