Big Nonprofit Ideas for the Other 95%
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Tony’s Guests:Sheila Kelly, Pamela Mohr, & Wendy Kleinman: The Event Leadership Puzzle
From the Association of Fundraising Professionals’ NYC Fundraising Day in June, our panel solved the puzzle for honorees, chairs, hosts and committees, from goal setting and recruitment to motivation and thanks. I was with Sheila Kelly, vice president of development at The Michael J. Fox Foundation for Parkinson’s Research; Pamela Mohr, executive director of FACES at NYU Langone Medical Center; and Wendy Kleinman, president of WK Planning.
Gene Takagi: Back To Board Basics
Gene Takagi, our legal contributor is back. This month we’re talking about who belongs on your board and for how long. Should your CEO be on the board? Is it OK if your CEO chairs? How about other employees? Should you have term limits? Gene is principal of the Nonprofit & Exempt Organizations law group (NEO).
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Hello and welcome to tony martignetti non-profit radio big non-profit ideas for the other ninety five percent it’s july twenty sixth i’m your aptly named host. Oh, i hope that you were with me last week. I would suffer atrial fib relation if it came to my ken that you had missed maria cuomo cole on relationships miss cole, a philanthropist and board chair of help yusa, shared the professional value of all her relationships, including her mom and how they’ve helped her and help yusa succeed. We talked at the june meeting of executive women in non-profits part of new york society of association executives and tumbler tactics, amy sample ward, our social media contributor, co author of social change, anytime, everywhere and ceo of and ten, explained the value of tumbler, how to decide whether you should be in it and how to get started this week, the event leadership puzzle from the association of fund-raising professionals, new york city fund-raising day in june, our panel solved this puzzle for honorees, chairs, hosts and event committees, from goal setting and recruitment to motivation. And thanks, i was with sheila kelly, vice president of development at the michael j fox foundation pamela more executive director of faces at noon you langone medical center and wendy kleinman, president of wk planning also back to board basics jean takagi are legal contributors back this month. We’re talking about who belongs on your board and for how long should you ceo beyond the board? Is it okay if your ceo chairs? What about term limits? Jean is principal of the non-profit and exempt organizations law group between the guests on tony’s take two my block this week is women’s touching relationship stories my pleasure now to bring the event leadership puzzle to you from fund-raising day new york city last month here’s that interview welcome to tony martignetti non-profit radio coverage of fund-raising day two thousand thirteen, we’re at the marriott marquis hotel in times square in new york city, and our subject now is event leadership with me r sheila kelly, vice president of development for the michael j fox foundation for parkinson’s research on in the middle is pam moore, executive director of faces at noon you langone medical center, and wendy kleinman, president of wk planning limited ladies welcome it’s a pleasure, wendy let’s, start down the other end. There what what’s the trouble with that non-profits have of the challenges that they have around event leadership. Well, i think there are a lot of non-profits today, everybody is vying for the same dollars and everybody’s buying for the same audience everybody would like to have the same leaders at the helm, many of whom have been over asked, and i think it’s also it’s identifying, you know, the right match when you invite somebody to take on the leadership role it’s important that you identify what the organization’s needs are and you try to find the right person teo approach that matches and believes in your mission and who feels that they can help you raise the funds you need. Okay, pam, these thes leadership positions can take a lot of different titles, right? A lot of a lot of possibilities. What a quaint listeners with what, what the scope is that we’re talking about. It could be anything from being an honoree to an event where you’re expected to bring in a certain amount of revenue, either giving it or getting it. It could be whether you’re chairing an event, it could be whether you’re sitting on a benefit committee vice chairing an event there are so many different titles, so many different forms of event leadership, but the most important common theme is that everybody needs to know what their expectations are in advance, so they understand what their role is in your event. Okay, making expectations very clear and i guess also gold setting, i guess. Sheila, for the event itself. Yeah, it’s, it’s, tremendously important to be very clear from the outset what your goals are for the event, both from a revenue perspective and also just what you’re trying to achieve for the for the organization and making sure that the people that have a leadership role with that event no, what what they need to do to help achieve that goal on dh, that i think when you find the right people and they know that they are part of something that, you know, there’s there’s a distinct goal for they’re going to be more willing to sort of step up to the plate and take on what you’re asking them to d’oh okay, now we just have about twenty minutes together. So why don’t we start at least our focus and maybe we’ll end there. We’ll see with the committee. Get your volunteer committees. What? What? What kind of what committees are we looking to recruit? First, i think it’s very event specific. It depends on the kind of event that you’re hosting. So if you’re hosting a golf event, for example, your committee could be helping you plan the event. They could be helping you with all the details. But if it’s your gala and, you know, we have a large gala, really? We look to our committee’s simply for fund-raising and for forgetting new people to come to the event and to help us expand our network. So i think it’s it’s about being sort of clear about with the specific events what you’re looking for, people to d’oh. Okay. And how do you start the recruitment process? A tte michael j fox foundation for us for bone event volunteered for event volunteers. Now we really do look within our network. We have so many amazing supporters who care about our work. I think that that’s key. You want to make sure that the people who are are involved have a direct connection to to your mission and to what you’re what you’re trying to achieve and so looking within first before going outside makes a lot of sense because there are people right there who are going be willing and able to get involved, and so that’s that’s typically where we start and also people self select, you know you will have people within your network who will who will raise their hand and say, please let me know how i could be of help and it’s if that person is, is the right fit. You know you should take them up on that for sure, pam, what wanted your quaint listeners what’s the work of faces at the gnu lango in medical center? So faces stands for finding a cure for epilepsy and seizures. We are an organization within and why you and go on medical center that raises funds for research, education programs, advocacy for patients with epilepsy and their families. Okay, and where do you start your recruitment process for event volunteers? So i’ve lived two very separate lives, one working for a major health care non-profit and the other one now it faces, which has only been eight months what’s so amazing to me. About my job now is that i’m dealing with a grateful patient fund-raising so i work directly for dr orrin devinsky, who is the director of the comprehensive epilepsy centre at n yu, and we work directly with the people that we impact every day. So where i’m looking for events, volunteers or donors or chairs or honorees, they’re all people that have been impacted some way by the comprehensive epilepsy centre and a recipient of some service that we’ve provided so it’s building relationships with the existing folks that have been involved and seeing who they know that they want to get involved and then being introduced to new people. One of the things that were actually looking to do with our board is to create a board event. We really want to get the word out. People don’t know enough about epilepsy, seizures and how common it is, and one of the ways that we want to do that is not just our gala, because not everybody wants to come to a gallon, so we’re working with our board to develop an event where they invite some of the individuals that they network with so they can hear. About what’s been going on in the world of epilepsy right here. When did you have advice for smaller and maybe midsize shops that that may not have the internal constituency? Teo look to first for event volunteer leadership. Well, every organization has somebody who is in charge, and that person is out in the world all the time. So what we do is we try to encourage every mind, whether it’s, the board or it’s, a executive director or the director of development, or even if it’s a small committee made maybe two or three people that they should always remain cognisant of of a good candidate is just in their travels through life, you know, in the workplace or in their social life. Oh, you know, we mentioned earlier in the panel, you know, everyone goes to cocktail parties and many people have jobs full time jobs in addition to the non-profit work they volunteer for so on, and then, you know, you talk about what you do, and if somebody expresses an interest in wanting to learn more that’s someone who could be a potential candidate to get involved in your organization. So that’s one way of looking at the outside to bring people in, they don’t have the infrastructure to pull from, like, a donor of strong donor-centric urging those conversations and basically that’s essentially good branding to yes, people should all your people well outside fund-raising should always be talking well about the organization and and know what it’s needs are, i think, and those needs might be event leadership volunteering. Exactly. And i think it’s it’s learning how to talk about what the organization was also in a very friendly, approachable manner on dh to make it interesting because people want to know who you are, what you like to do and where you spend your time what’s our next step, then wendy, you’re the consultant on the panel what’s the next step, after we’ve identified some people who are potential leaders of the event, how do we start to approach? What should we be talking about with them? Well, i think you can you can meet on a one to one basis. Maybe initially, teo, explain all the different areas where the organization might need some health. It could be joining the committee. There might be a greater interest in the board, which has a bigger picture approach, or the gala committee, which might be specifically for one event. Uh, and everybody has their different strikes. Some people are better at selling table. Some people are better at bringing an auction items. Some people are better at selling journal. Latto. So i think, it’s it’s, having that discussion and trying to find someone’s comfort zone and really assess their capabilities, where their strengths are, ok? And i think it’s a mutual decision sometimes, and that makes a lot of sense for all volunteer positions. Really? Yeah, from the board. Teo teo. Someone who’s, doing something, not his time consuming but way, want to be engaging people where their interests are. Okay. Talking alternative radio twenty four hours a day. 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So gain special access to the ivory tower. Listen to me. Very sharp. Your neo-sage tuesday nights nine to eleven new york time go to ivory tower radio dot com for details. That’s. Ivory tower radio dot com e every time i was a great place to visit for both entertainment and education. Listening. Tuesday nights nine to eleven. It will make you smarter. Hey, all you crazy listeners looking to boost your business? Why not advertise on talking alternative with very reasonable rates? Interested simply email at info at talking alternative dot com durney yeah. Sheila. Pam, do you want to share how you approach people for for these kinds of positions? Anybody wanna with your first up? You know, for us, really? It’s it’s, the relationship building in stewardship is is sort of the most important piece, right? And i think to wendy’s point people have different strength. And so when you find someone within your network, or or someone who’s new to you realising what they want to be involved in, there might be someone who is very interested in events. There might be someone who’s just interested in helping to to find new donors. There’s, you know, there’s lots of different ways that you can engage with people in it. What we what we refer to it, the fox foundation is giving someone a seat at the table, you know, having them feel that they are, they might. They have separate work outside of what, what they do with the foundation. But they are an extension of what we do and making sure that they feel that they’re armed with the right tools in the right messaging so that they can speak to the work of the foundation as well. I think that’s hugely important you want you want all the people who are associated with your foundation and with your mission out there talking about the things that are important and it’s the job of of the internal people to make sure that they have all the right information, that they’re on the support that they need? Absolutely what do we do now? So we’ve recruited suppose there are some committee members who aren’t quite pulling their weight, sam, i imagine that gets frustrating to those who are how do we how do we deal with that situation? I’ve dealt with that situation many times, so i think the first thing that actually needs to happen is and we had talked about this earlier is roles and expectations. I think that when you’re working with an event committee, the most important thing that you can do from the beginning is give them the rolls and expectations, so they understand exactly what’s expected of them this way. There’s really no question about what they’re supposed to be doing and what the result is supposed to be. These committee members need to be treated as leaders because most of them are probably leaders in their industry, they need to understand that the event that they’re working on, you know, the funds raised for this event are directly impacting the mission of the organization, and they have tto take ownership, and they have to own the actual event and understand that what we’ve, you know, and we’ve talked about this earlier during our session, what tends to happen is that if you do have individuals that aren’t pulling their weight on the committee, but you have people that are many times those people will almost self select away from the committee because they understand and recognize that they’re not doing what needs to be done in order to get to make it happen. Ok, in order to reach that goal, all right? That’s helpful? What if they don’t start self elected? Sometimes it could be it could be a problem, obviously, i you know, i’m a shoot from the hip kind of person if there’s somebody who’s not pulling their weight and they’re bringing the rest the committee down, it would probably be an individual conversation with that volunteer and letting them know that, you know, this is really what we expect for. The level of what this event is, perhaps this isn’t the right police for that particular volunteer, maybe there’s another part of the organization a lower level event, some sort of program we understand that they’re completely passionate about the mission and the cause, and they want to continue to remain involved. But maybe this particular event isn’t the right match for them and let’s identify what might work and as long as you know you can find that place for them, they’ll be happy. They don’t want to be a part of something where they feel like they can’t give what the other people are giving that’s also kind of, you know, it’s, it’s, it’s not a comfortable place to be. I would think. Sheila, what about having the committee organize themselves in terms of who’s going to be a leader? Who’s going to take on? What do you prefer to see? The committees decide that among themselves or you appoint people once they’ve agreed to be part of a committee, appoint them to certain certain positions we typically help with a structure. This is it’s really more apparent in some of our smaller events that are led through? Our community fund-raising armed with team fox way. Find that people really do want teo want to know what what we need of them. And as we were talking about in the panel, people that do this for a living, we would probably we were all on a committee. We would self select ourselves, right? And we would be able to divide ourselves up. But that’s not everyone’s, core strength. And so i think guidance in this area is key. And if you if you have a group of individuals that are passionate and they want to help and they want to get involved, helping them with the structure is very important in terms of the overall success of the event. Okay? Anybody want to add tio having the committee cam or wendy having the committee decide among themselves and versus lending structure? I think that there are some individuals, you know, much like sheila had said there are some individuals that might know, you know, if we were on an event committee, we would probably know what we would be good at. Whether i would be really great it’s sponsorships and shell. It would be really great. A ticket. Sales or whatever that looks like and every so often you obviously want to honor the request of a committee member that says, i really want to work on this, you know, and what i usually do with the committee when i am dividing them subcommittees, i give them a interest for him and they’re going to fill it out, and they’re going to indicate what theywant, obviously, i don’t want to put somebody in a role where they’re selling something if their strength might be planning, but most of my committees that i have formed, we’ll have some sort of fund-raising, you know, commitment to it, but that level might very depending on each individual person, so i don’t necessarily let them make their, you know, they can select what they want, but in terms of the overall leadership structure and setting that up and dividing them up and letting them know and, you know, i’ve handled that as a development professional, okay? I’m sorry, wendy, was there something you want to add to that? Well, as consultants, we’re we’re a little bit more objective, and sometimes we can observe a committee in a different way because we’re not. Dealing with them every day like hammond, sheldon might be in the sense that their internal so, you know, we’re asked for opinion about almost everything when it comes to putting an event together, so that includes sometimes helping to identify who we feel or who we would recommend to be the chairs, for example, who shows the strength. Dahna and because sometimes the committee members themselves were just too close to one another that they can’t single each other out, so we’re standing a little bit apart, we could say, well, we think that she would be a great chair and then and that person would be a great co chair, and this person probably shouldn’t leave the auction the auction chair, for example, because they’ve been so influential ins and busy obtaining auction item, so sometimes the strength or more apparent to us and they are even to them, to the committee members themselves, so we just helped them identify that guy. What else can we say about these events leadership committees? I haven’t i haven’t asked you about more more advice around. Go ahead, i think one of the things that also came up in our most in the most recent panel that we just had is the importance of treating the committee as as a leadership group on treating them like a professional group of individuals who are there to help move the mission of the organization forward giving them, you know, in addition to setting the expectations that i mentioned before making sure that they have all the tools that they need in order to be the best that they can be, whether that’s making sure they have a budget, making sure they have a timeline, they need to understand what this event needs to gross. We need to understand the expenses behind the event, what it needs to net at the end of the day as well. They need to have those clear Job expectations 1 of the best examples that i had given is making sure that, you know, if let’s say you have a committee and they’re actually submitting a list and there soliciting individuals, making sure at the end of each week there’s a spreadsheet that’s organized by solicitor, so every single person on that committee understands what money’s come in, who is responsible for bringing it in how much and where they need to be to do this on a weekly basis. I’ll do it on a weekly basis during events season. Absolutely. So i think, it’s, just the same way that you would handle it like a business. You want to handle your event committee the same way they want to understand, they need to understand that you’re taking this seriously. This is serious. Without this money, the mission of your organization is not going to move forward, and i think if you treat it that way, they will treat it that way and it’s a mutually respectful and professional relationship. More more you want, i couldn’t agree more. I mean, transparency is imperative when you’re dealing with planning of events, and when you’re working with the committee, they need to know exactly what expense structure looks like what the revenue expectations are so that they can feel a part of it, you know, events event fund-raising is expensive. It’s it’s, one of the more expensive ways to raise a dollar and anyone that does it for living knows that. And so there’s always that balance of making sure that you’re keeping your costs down, that you’re doing that. You’re maximizing your investments, and again, many of these committees air filled with people who run their own businesses who have great perspective in this area and and using them to there, you know, to the best of their abilities is actually makes your event even better. It sounds like this kind of work for ah volunteer could be great cultivation to be, be enhanced, enhance the they’re their own giving, or maybe expand their volunteer rolls in the future. I mean, if there’s that kind of transparency and they see that it is run like a business, as you say, sounds great cultivation from or more activity, whatever, whatever, yeah, whatever form that takes, we’ve seen people move at at the fox foundation from someone who just gets involved at the team fox level who running, running a marathon and fund-raising from their peers to then joining, you know, our leadership council, which is sort of a junior board of directors, and you know that that level of engagement just continues, but it’s about making sure that you’re cultivating that relationship from the beginning in the right way, especially for people who want to who want to have a greater involvement with your foundation and i think it’s giving him that experience too, you know, it’s making sure that they’re having a positive experience. One of the best feelings that i have is when i’ve transitioned a committee that might not have been functioning as well in the fund-raising side and giving them these tools and providing, you know, changing the structure of a committee so that it functions the way we’ve been talking about and then having them get so excited about it. And then when they come to the event and they see this, you know, seamless, amazing galla golf cocktail party, whatever it looks like, they want to get more involved, and then they want to recruit other people to get more involved so it in turn by doing it this way, it might be a little bit more work on errand, but in the end, it’s going to increase our revenue and it’s also going to expand our relationships within the whole community. We have to leave it there, ladies. Thank you very much. Thanks for having us. Thank you. Pleasure. All three. Thank you. Sheila kelly ceded closest to me. Is vice president for? Development. Michael j, fox foundation for parkinson’s research pam mohr is executive director of faces finding a cure for epilepsy and seizures at the gnu langone medical center. And when d kleiman is president of wk planning limited again. Thanks very much, ladies. Thank you. Thank you for being with me. Tony martignetti non-profit radio coverage of fund-raising day two thousand thirteen. Thanks so much. And my thanks. Also to the organizers of fund-raising day twenty thirteen, sponsored by the association of fund-raising professionals. New york’s, greater new york city chapter. Gotta live listener love lots of new yorkers. Massapequa, new york, new york and brooklyn, new york. Welcome, live listener. Loved to you also new bern, north carolina. Gonna be there very soon, very soon. And washington, dc all up and down the east coast. Where’s there’s, nobody east of ah, nobody west of philadelphia and, well, we got santa. See joe argentina, that francesco or alejandra? And also ottawa, canada. Welcome live listener love to all of you will hit asia shortly. Right now we take a break for a couple minutes when we come back. Tony’s take two and then gene takagi with back to board basics. Hang in there. You didn’t think that shooting getting dink, dink, dink, dink. You’re listening to the talking, alternate network, waiting to get in. E-giving good. Are you suffering from aches and pains? Has traditional medicine let you down? Are you tired of taking toxic medications, then come to the double diamond wellness center and learn how our natural methods can help you, too? He’ll call us now at to one to seven to one eight, one eight, three that’s two one two, seven to one eight, one eight, three or find us on the web at www dot double diamond wellness dot com way. Look forward to serving you. Hi, i’m lost him a role, and i’m sloan wainwright, where the host of the new thursday morning show the music power hour. Eleven a m. We’re gonna have fun. Shine the light on all aspects of music and its limitless healing possibilities. We’re gonna invite artists to share their songs and play live will be listening and talking about great music from yesterday to today, so you’re invited to share in our musical conversation. Your ears will be delighted with the sound of music and our voices. Join austin and sloan live thursdays at eleven a. M on talking alternative dot com. You’re listening to the talking alternative network. Schnoll hi, i’m kate piela, executive director of dance, new amsterdam. And you’re listening to tony martignetti non-profit radio. Big non-profit ideas for the other ninety five percent. Hi there, welcome back, i want to also send along with the live listener love podcast pleasantries, especially to germany, gooden dog have lots of german listeners to the podcast, from a site called podcast that d so good in dog to all end and podcast pleasantries toe all the german listeners. Time for tony’s take to my block this week is women’s touching relationship stories? Remember last week you heard my interview with maria cuomo coal, which was pre recorded at a meeting of executive women in non-profits after that, we opened the discussion of relationships to the group and lots of women shared very touching stories of people who have been important in their lives and help their careers. And i included just a couple of minutes of the group discussion in last week’s clip, but the whole discussion was about twenty minutes and it’s really very uplifting on dh very tender, and that video of the video of that interview is on my blogged at tony martignetti dot com and it’s, also on youtube, if you prefer to go there directly the channel israel tony martignetti cem very tender and touching stories from executive women running non-profits now and the audio is much better than it was in the clip that i played for you last week. And that is tony’s take two for friday twenty sixth of july thirtieth show of the year and show number one hundred fifty two. Jean takagi is with me. He’s, principal of neo the non-profit and exempt organizations law group in san francisco. He edits the popular non-profit law blogged dot com and he is at gi tak on twitter. Hello, jean takagi. Welcome back. I’m tony, thank you for having me, it’s. Always a pleasure. Thank you for joining us from the west coast. We’re talking about cem cem board basics this month on dh specifically, who should be on the board. And maybe for how long? Let’s. Start with the well, let’s start before we get into individual people. Do you see trouble or or challenges a lot of times around who belongs properly on a board? Well, i think a lot of organizations right now, tony, are struggling with recruitment, trying teo attain diversity. Getting a different skill sets on the board. Different representations of populations. Um, at the same time, it seems that the boards are very underutilized asset of many organizations in terms of the valley that they’re adding, or at least in terms of how the ceo or the executive director perceives the value add of the board of directors. And i think i’m going back to some of the board basics. Is a good place to start and explore some of these issues about not only what that board could be doing. But what, what aboard should be doing. You since you mentioned the ceo and their role with respect to the board, we polled listeners before the show and asked if your ceo is a boardmember and forty percent said yes, sixty percent said no. Should a ceo be a boardmember great question, so i think they’re different stages of evolution of organizations where whether the ceo belongs on the border not may change, and i’m going to sort of give you kind of the lawyers disclaimer about that i’m dunaj unconscionable thoughts on this, but there’s always going to be some exceptions tease general rules, and my general thought is tony, is that once an organization is matured, having the ceo or executive director on the board of directors can be troubling because of the potential conflicts of interests that are involved. And the big one is that the board is responsible for overseeing, evaluating the performance of and determining the salary and compensation of the ceo at the same time. If the ceo is on the board that is overseeing himself or herself, you can see the inherent conflict that’s involved. What couldn’t they? Couldn’t they recuse themselves from any discussions off of those issues? Yeah. Absolutely, and i think that’s commonly how organizations treated so if they’ve got their ceo on the board, whenever it comes around, too evaluating performance or determining compensation, the ceo recuses themselves from the board and the rest of the board makes that decision. However, that seems teo sort of discount the possibility that decisions on programs and finance and budget don’t also affect the ceo personally and the ceo very may very well have a personal interest in all of those aspects of an organization that are very important for boards latto oversee and make decisions on, and if the c e o by virtue of being on the board, i can control the board discussion and analysis of these issues, then it really creates a problem and allows the board to sort of get away from from mid duties of acting as the check and balance to the ceo. So is it not sufficient than let’s? Say we have a boardmember i’m sorry, we have a ceo who’s a boardmember um if they can contribute, but they don’t vote sounds like i mean, they still could they still control the discussion, but then they don’t have final decision. Making authority because they’re not a voting member of the board. It’s a great question the night, you know, i see lawyers actually struggling with this idea in many states and in california, we actually recently made a change or a proposal to a change in in the statutes about what is a director, and i think for most lawyers, the idea they want to get across to their clients to their non-profit clients is that there really is no such thing as a non voting boardmember and the reason for that is because boardmember have fiduciary duties, and they’re ultimately responsible for the management of their organizations. So while they khun delegate duties, toe officers and executives and ceo, they ultimately hold responsibility for what happens with the organization, and you can’t really ultimately hold responsibility is a boardmember if you can’t vote on the issues ah, yeah, so there really is no such thing as a non voting boardmember nonvoting director. What you may have, though, is a ceo or executive directors that is invited to attend in and participate in all of the board meeting’s except when the board meeting go into executive session and determining when the board should go into executive session without having the executive director there so that they can actually tied it by themselves on independent of the director, determine what is necessary to direct the organization and the future toe oversee the organization, how it’s doing in the present and in the past and do a little of what i’m going to quote somebody else’s term that they coined the lucy markets is a governance expert out of the uk, and she calls a stargazing about planning for the future and trying to determine how teo look into the future and make sure that the organization is ready to be able to respond to future challenges and take advantage of future opportunities a great role of the board that they probably don’t do enough for most boards don’t do enough of this when the ceo is they’re trying to ground everybody to the present, sometimes that future stargazing aspect is lost. So those are some of the reasons why maybe the ceo just recusing themselves at certain times isn’t isn’t the best idea. Well, that kind of cells short, visionary ceos, i mean, every ceo is not going to be wedded. To what’s happening this quarter in or this year and i think a ceo could be visionary and be looking fifteen, twenty years ahead doing that stargazing also, yeah, absolutely. I think we would hope that that when when, as a nonprofit organization boardmember myself, we would hope that when we hyre are ceos that we are looking for somebody that that has that inherent ability to be able to stargaze and be a visionary and a champion of that vision. On the other hand, i think we know, especially for smaller organizations, tony, and you’re probably well aware of this as well. Ceos are so burdened by the work of the day to day management of the organization that sometimes they just don’t have the opportunities, even if they have the skills t able to engage in that type of stargazing and board members may be in better position to bring their valley. So that added value that we talked about that board may not be giving enough of to an organization that’s, a really strong air in which they could do it and having the ceo lead, that would be great if that’s possible and then having the board, you know, sort of be the counterbalance and check, uh, to the ceo. Perfect, but if if the board is just relying on the c e o to champion all of the vision and determine what the vision is of the organization, he may not have the healthiest organization around let’s, go back to something you said a few minutes ago, jean the that you can’t really have a nonvoting boardmember because that that abila gates, the fiduciary responsibility of a boardmember was that i’m sorry was that was that california law or that’s a california proposal? What? Well, that’s california law and i think, while it may not be stated explicitly in other statutes, are depending upon what state your urine, i think that’s the general idea of most, if not all, of the states, that we’re not really supposed to have somebody who is a boardmember with the fiduciary duties of a boardmember, but otherwise unable to to vote on any of the issues do corporations for-profit corporations struggle with this? Also mean, my sense is that it’s routine for a president ceo to be a board member of a corporate board? Do you do you know? Do they struggle with this the same way? Non-profits are they absolutely do? Tony, this is a major topic of controversy and has actually been hitting twitter a lot in the for-profit circles as well among the governance experts and it’s close to a fifty fifty split about whether ceos they’re going to serve on the board of directors neither mainly mainly for larger public organizations. Oftentimes again, yeah, that the board is supposed to be the check and balance to the ceo and to bring the ceo onto the board might start to facilitate this rubber stamp board that just sort of agrees with a ceo and sort of puts all of their trust and relies on the ceo’s opinion just too far rather than acting is the check and balance, but it goes both ways because, you know, we haven’t really talked about the benefits of having the ceo on the board, and there there are some benefits, especially in the early stages of an organization. Do you have a visionary ceo? The only way that that ceo and possibly that’s, the founder of the organization to recruit the best members onto the board? Maybe if the ceo is on the board himself or herself because they’re the draw. They may be the draw to the organization, and without that person’s leadership, that organization may not be able to evolve to the next stage where, you know, i’m talking about where hopefully a cz the organization mature a little bit that you can get to a phase where their partners, the ceo on one side and the board of directors led by chair of the board on the other side, rather than blending the two together. But that may take a little bit of time to get to that stage, especially for small organizations, really depending upon the champion of the organization and its mission being the founders ceo and the boardmember all, at the same time, another advantage to having the ceo on the board sounds like would be that the other board members would be not so likely to get intruding into management day today. Issues. Yeah, but that’s that’s actually a good point. So sometimes, while directors ultimately have the authority tio and the obligation to ultimately manage the the organization that’s collectively, as the board of directors individually, board members have no inherent powers. At all. So that’s that’s something to really think about individually, director’s really don’t have powers unless they’ve been delegated to them as possibly officers of the organizations are agents for some specific tasks, but it’s a boardmember just by virtue of being a boardmember shouldn’t start directing employees of the organization and telling them what to dio even the executive director or ceo because it’s the board collectively that that overseas that that and not individual directors so i’m good, really good point let’s move to having a ceo chair, the board? What what’s concerns there. So all of the concerns of having the ceo being on the board of directors as a director are amplified when the ceo is also the chair of the board, and interesting enough, this was a recent article in the non-profit quarterly where and author just took the opposite position not now, fairly advocating it in all cases, but sort of making us aware that, well, sometimes a compensated ceo cancer because the chair of the board and it may be perfectly appropriate because what they want to do is completely aligned with what the board wants to do, which is advanced the organization’s mission is effectively and efficiently as possible, and if again the board doesn’t have a champion to do that other than this is the ceo, the ceo is almost resigned, teo being a member of the board and leading it forward so that part of the argument that that that author made but they’re the cons are again is that you can really encourage a rubber stamp board, you can lose the checks and balances that you’ve tried to design for the board, and ceos can, even without knowing that they’re doing so, make decisions that are based not necessarily in the organization’s best interests, but in the ceo, you know, ceos best interests as well, and not in terms of sometimes in terms of making more compensation for themselves or protecting their own job status, but sometimes it can be for more innocent reasons. Just the ceo thinks a certain way about a particular project and wants to protect that project ahead of others, perhaps, or looks to the present more than to the future of the organization and again in wanting to protect everybody, all the employees from from facing layoffs or anything like that doesn’t want to make that difficult decisions that might improve the effectiveness and efficiency of the organization in future, and really holds to the status quo, because there’s so many personal interests that are involved as well that the ceo maybe, like, here she is safeguarding too. So that’s where the board you know, it’s kind of this objective party from the outside looking in, khun really provide this different perspective for an organization. If you have the ceo of the chair of the board, designing the agenda of the board, being responsible for the education of the board and orientation of the board and preparation of all the board members before every board meeting, everything can get planted in a certain way to sort of direct everybody else to just approve. But the ceo is recommending and that that’s the danger of having a ceo is the chair, the listener pole. If if your ceo is a boardmember does he or she chaired the board, only thirteen percent said yes, and the other eighty seven percent said no that they don’t have that. We have just about a minute before we go away for a couple of minutes um, you’ve seen cases where the there’s, a volunteer chair of the board, and they’re identified as ceo of the organization. Yeah, and and that’s that’s kind of an interesting fact pattern that that oftentimes takes place even if the by-laws don’t say anything. So if you’ve got an executive director hired but your state law says that either the president or the chair, the board is the ceo, unless the by-laws state otherwise, even though you haven’t executive director, the chair of your board, maybe the ceo just by default of the law because you’re by-laws don’t say anything else, and that may not be a great place for a volunteer chair of the board tow want to be in should anything ever go to court and that person be held responsible as the ceo of the organization for understanding and knowing what the organization is doing on a day to day basis? And aside from the legal aspect of it, i think that would diminish the authority of the paid executive director. Absolutely. Here you’re absolutely right, and i wantto point to something that was on the april twenty sixth, two thousand thirteen show the guest was eugene fram, and he and i talked a lot about the title ceo versus executive director and how that and how executive director tends to diminish the authority of what, what he recommends. B b the ceo. We have to go away for a couple of minutes. When we come back. Jean, i’ll keep talking about board a six. Hang in there, stay with us. Dafs you’re listening to the talking alternative network. Schnoll are you stuck in your business or career trying to take your business to the next level, and it keeps hitting a wall? This is sam liebowitz, the conscious consultant. I will help you get to the root cause of your abundance issues and help move you forward in your life. Call me now and let’s. Create the future you dream of. Two, one, two, seven, two, one, eight, one, eight, three, that’s to one to seven to one, eight one eight three. The conscious consultant helping conscious people. Be better business people. Have you ever considered consulting a road map when you feel you need help getting to your destination when the normal path seems blocked? A little help can come in handy when choosing an alternate route. Your natal chart is a map of your potentials. It addresses relationships, finance, business, health and, above all, creativity. Current planetary cycles can either support or challenge your objectives. I’m montgomery taylor. If you would like to explore the help of a private astrological reading, please contact me at monte at monty taylor dot. Com let’s monte m o nt y at monty taylor dot com. Talking alternative radio twenty four hours a day. God, that’s. More live listener love. Ah! Houston, texas. Yakima, washington. Rocklin, california. Outside sacramento. San francisco, california. And a masked us avenger listener. Tokyo, japan durney chua and we know that it’s francisco imbriano zara is francisco welcome. Lots of masked listeners in japan. Also bunch of mass listeners in japan, seoul, korea and goose on korea on your haserot and chung ching, guangzhou and shanghai, china. Ni hao, so happy to have all the live listeners. Love i love sending live listener love it’s, more like my live listener love, then love going out to you because i love doing it. Jean let’s see that’s ah, let’s continue with the possibility of having other paid employees or even contractors on the board. Seems to me this is getting messier the further we go, yeah, it can get messy hair as we go along and, you know, here in california, we actually have ah, state law that says for non-profit what we call public benefit corporations. So those air, the charitable organizations that are not not religious and focus, um, on lee up to forty nine percent of the board may be compensated or related to someone compensated and that’s, whether as an employee or an independent contractor, so a majority of the board essentially must be interested or not compensated or related to anybody confident no, jean, that still seems too high to me. Forty nine percent, i think, should be, like, ten percent. You know, most states actually don’t have that law at all in the vast majority of states don’t have that. So i agree with you that it would be great to have a small minority of the board compensated so the board can be can be the real checking balance in terms of making decisions that are not beneficial primarily for the employees directors, but primarily for the mission of the organization in most states don’t have those laws. And i think part of that is to accommodate some smaller boards where they may only be three or four board members to start out with. And you do have the founder, who’s compensated on the board and, you know, so e-giving ten percent, which would be very tough. Well, all right, well, then, say one out of force, you know, based on the size of the board. But but it seems risky tohave employees or even do you see this case where it’s it’s other employees or even vendors to the organization on the board? Yeah, way, absolutely, tio i don’t know, i don’t know, maybe i’m it just sounds crazy to me to have especially vendors on the well, no, actually, they’re equally bad to me vendors and and other paid employees aside from the ceo, i just don’t think they should be on the board at all. Yeah, you know, i for the most part again, generally, i would say i would agree with you, you really lose out on all the checks and balances that we talked about, even maur if you’ve got not only the ceo on the board but other employees or contractors as well, and then what about the situation, tony, if the ceo is not on the board but one of the vendors is on the board now, that creates, like this unusual situation where the ceo is really responsible for making sure that bender’s is performing under whatever contract that they have. But the vendors sits on the board that oversees the ceo and can affect the performance or even the retention of the ceo and that that’s kind of crazy, isn’t it? Yes, that’s, i can’t. I can’t see a case where a vendor or contractor to an organisation belongs on the board. I don’t care, even if they’re volunteering their time and the value of their services, or whatever, they, whether they’re volunteering or being paid, they just don’t belong and an employee’s equally bad. You know, some employees are on the board, but not other employees. I mean, what does that do to the peer-to-peer relationships, working relationships in the office? Yeah, they can’t create problems, but let me take the other side for just a moment. That lawyers love to do this right, then so let’s take the other side and say, well, what about a vendor who has been a great vendor paid vendor to the organization that’s been giving discounted rates to the organization all along knows the organization really well on dh if you continue to use that vendor, you just get far better value than you would by using any of her his competitors out there. And now you feel like the vendors so aligned with the mission of the organization, you actually value the perspective that this person could bring to the board and no one invite them onto the board. But you don’t necessarily want to take away this advantageous business kind of action that you have with this vendor, and you may be paying double if you go out and bring them on the board, but not continue to use their services. That may be a case where i say that’s, ok, you’ve to be very careful about this, but that may be okay to bring that vendor onto the onto the organization and in, you know, in a slightly different matter. What if you’ve got a board member? Who’s not a vendor right now, but he says, hey, i can leave my, you know, that’s, an extra business space, and we’re looking to expand i can offer you a lease that, you know, just half the price that you’ll find anywhere else, and you go ahead and have the all the independent board members of that that statement to make sure that what actually is much lower than when what fair market value would be for that space, and that may be another case where it’s okay, the boardmember eventually becomes the landlord of the organization, but that may be okay as well, but you do need the check and balance of independent board members to prove those type of transaction. So you’re not just relying on somebody saying that, yeah, we’re way cheaper than everybody else, you’re actually verifying that with the independent boardmember okay, well, i’m not willing to go that far with you. I think the the vendors perspective can be brought in by the by the ceo so that i think the perspective could be represented. And, you know, if the person loves the organization so much the way you’re describing it, i don’t think they would double the price just because, you know, way didn’t put them on the board. All right, i don’t need to do neither do i, tony, but, you know, it’s interesting board source, i believe, are no urban institute did a study of non-profits that have they’re they’re contractors on the board, and forty five percent said it would be difficult to terminate that relationship that contracting relationship and but only seventeen percent, haywood said it would be very difficult terminate that contract relationship and still keep that member on the board. So it’s an interesting thing, i think generally i agree with you, we don’t like the idea of having them on the board because of the conflicts of interest, but i can understand situations sometimes went when it might be appropriate. You’re more understanding than i am. Jean wait, we have to leave it there to be continued let’s do aboard basics again because we didn’t get to term limits. And then there’s also the question of, you know how often should the board meet? And i’ll bet you have some other topics. So let’s do board six again next time. Okay, that sounds good. I look forward to it. Excellent, i do to thank you, jean takagi, yet it’s the non-profit law blogged dot com and on twitter he’s at g tak thank you again, jean next week, a new feature out of the blue we’re going to bring people in that have offed be jobs and a connection to non-profits of course we’re going to start this with sand or cats he’s a fermenter, and actually he called himself sandorkraut and we’re going to talk about the history, benefits and methods of fermenting foods and he’s got a simple sauerkraut recipe and in a future out of the blue, we’re going to go from sandorkraut to santa claus, we’re going to bring in santa claus and mrs claus, they’re going to be in the studio in october, kicking off their busy season next week. Also, scott koegler returns he’s, our technology contributor and the editor of non-profit technology news he’s also in ina file, so that means fermentation is bad for scott koegler you want to follow me on twitter, i’m at tony martignetti our creative producer is claire meyerhoff. Sam liebowitz is our line producer, the remote producer of tony martignetti non-profit radio is john federico of the new rules, and we’re saying goodbye to regina walton of organic social media. We’ve had a terrific three year run with regina she’s, been with me from the beginning of the show, and you’re listening because regina promoted the show and you saw her good work, and that brought you to us. Thank you very much for gina it’s. Been a pleasure. I hope you’ll be with me next week. Friday, one to two p, m eastern, a tucking alternative broadcasting at talking alternative dot com. E-giving intending to be a good ending? You’re listening to the talking alternate network. Get in. 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You’re listening to talking alternative network at www dot talking alternative dot com, now broadcasting twenty four hours a day. This is tony martignetti aptly named host of tony martignetti non-profit radio. Big non-profit ideas for the other ninety five percent technology fund-raising compliance, social media, small and medium non-profits have needs in all these areas. My guests are expert in all these areas and mohr. Tony martignetti non-profit radio fridays one to two eastern on talking alternative broadcasting are you concerned about the future of your business for career? Would you like it all to just be better? Well, the way to do that is to better communication. And the best way to do that is training from the team at improving communications. This is larry sharp, host of the ivory tower radio program and director at improving communications. Does your office need better leadership? Customer service sales or maybe better writing are speaking skills? 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