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Allison Chernow, Terry Billie & Holly Bellows: Get the Best Out of Your Board
Our panel from Fundraising Day in June shares wisdom on identifying, recruiting, training, engaging and transitioning board members. They are Allison Chernow, director of external affairs at the Bronx Museum; Terry Billie, director of corporate and foundation relations at Goodwill Industries of NY & NJ; and Holly Bellows, chief development officer for the Helen Keller National Center.
Interviewing (L to R): Allison Chernow,Terry Billie & Holly Bellows at Fundraising Day New York 2013
Gene Takagi: Back To Board Basics II
Gene Takagi, our legal contributor, returns to continue our discussion on sound board practices. We’ll talk about term limits; how often they should meet; automatic removal; and very young trustees (in real age, not how they act). Gene is principal of the Nonprofit & Exempt Organizations law group (NEO).
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Here is the link to the audio: Nonprofit Radio show 154, Get the Best Out of Your Board and Back to Board Basics II. You can also subscribe on iTunes to get the podcast automatically.
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Hello and welcome to tony martignetti non-profit radio, where we’re talking about big non-profit ideas for the other ninety five percent. I’m your aptly named host. Oh, i hope you were with me last week. You would cause me to go into cardiogenic shock if i learned that you had missed fermentation sandorkraut cats is a fermenter. We talked about the history, benefits and methods of fermenting foods and volunteermatch making scott koegler, our technology contributor and the editor of non-profit technology news, shared ideas about tech that matches willing volunteers with seeking charities this week, all aboard. First, get the best out of your board our panel shares wisdom on identifying, recruiting, training, engaging and transitioning board members. I talked to allison char now, terry, billy and holly bellows at fund-raising day in june and back to board basics, do you, jane takagi are legal contributor returns to contribute to continue our discussion on soundboard practices? This time, we’ll talk about term limits, how often you’re bored should meet having automatic removal provisions and very young trustees that’s young in age, not in how they’re acting, and jean is principal of the non-profit exempt organizations law group between the guests on tony’s take to my beth cantor interview is on video, and i feel i let you down last week, and i’m going to explain that right now. We have the interview from fund-raising day this past june, where we’re talking about getting the best out of your board, and here is that welcome to tony martignetti non-profit radio coverage of fund-raising day two thousand thirteen where at the marriott marquis hotel in times square, midtown new york city and we’re talking now about board relations. My guests are it’s needed most closest closest to meet holly bellows, chief development officer of helen keller’s services for the blind. Next to her is terry billy, director of corporate and foundation relations for goodwill industries of new york and new jersey. And we also have allison for now director of external affairs for the bronx museum of the arts ladies welcome. Thank you. Thank you. It’s. A pleasure to have you. Your seminar topic is bored. Relations getting the best out of your trustees. No, let’s start far away. Allison, can we start with recruitment? What? What? What’s? Some advice around identifying and recruiting the right boardmember well for museum. We have a lot of opportunities for cultivation of perspective, trustees. We looked to people who come to many of our events. We sort of noticed repeat attendees way start plucking them out. We invite them to special private events. We find that people are very attracted to sort of exclusive private events, not generally open to the public. So we invite them to dinners or preview openings of exhibitions and that’s how we generate interests, and we see if they respond to that we just keep cultivating more and generally that’s, that’s way, tio sort of notice and pounce on perspective prospects. We also use other trustees to help us, and they bring along people whom they think would be a fit for the museum to two events as well. Okay, i mean, i sort of go down the line on different topics. Teri, you have anything you’d like to add about identifying the right people? Well, we’re different kind of agency were a social service ages. We don’t really have events or exhibitions or things like that that people would come to so instead we have to really go the traditional route, which is working with our trustees to see if they have friends or colleagues or others that might come be interested in working with our organization or we go toe on organizations such as bored source to do recruitment. Two or two funders, corporations, foundations that might be interested in supporting us in a different way through ford relations. Okay, so you’re relying more on your board because you don’t have those cultivation events. By the way, terry, i want to welcome you back to the show. Thank you. Chatted with you this time last year. How about you, holly? Like they have that goodwill industries is doing well differently. Well, we’re also human service organization. We serve the blind, and those were deaf blind. And so we have the same process as terry. We look for people who are already within the organization. People that know people that want to be committed for the long along home. Okay? And i apologize. I confused you with i’m sorry, terry. I’m here with goodwill industries and holly. Of course, you’re with falik falik color this’s blind. Thank you very much. Coach me on each individual word. Now i have it. Holly’s with helen keller services for the blind. Thank you, but no, thank you. Thank you for saving me. Okay, after we’ve way haven’t identified the right people way have to start. Teo, make conversation a lot more serious. Terry, how do we how do we go about that? Well, we work with a development committee. In fact, i had my development kitty meet committee meeting last night, which we met with five of our board members. And we talked about the different things that were doing to raise money. And we talked about developed direct mail cultivation events and funding alerts for possible corporate foundation connections, finding out what they’d like to do, how they like to help. And so that’s that’s, how we work with our board, we have a lot of other board members that in war policy driven, so they’re not so much into fund-raising so we have to use them as ambassadors they’re not so comfortable in. They get scared about fund-raising and what the expectations will be have to have to come out in the recruitment process. Right? Right. Would you say holly? This is critical. We need to be up front. How do you how do you do that? Helen keller. Well, right now i weigh had a board meeting on monday morning and a golf tournament afterwards. And so i i spoke with the board that i will be interviewing them over the next couple of months. Existing existing board, the existing board. Okay, and on that will be part of the question is, we also had a former board members come to the golf tournament to reinforce the other ties to the organization, and i will be interviewing them, too. And so is part of that process reaching out to not only what they’re interested interests are going forward, but, you know, looking for prospects and, you know, foundations as well as their personal connections for future board development. Imagine it’s it’s it’s important not to be trying to fit a square peg into a round hole. Different board members have different interests. Aptitudes abilities, right? They can all come to the board for different reasons. Maybe they had someone in their family that is blind or deaf blind. Or maybe it just seems like a really cool thing to do. They learned about helen keller in third grade here in new york state. And they want teo you. Know, be a part of it. So various everyone has various reasons why they want to be on the board, and we want to exploit those personalities and and credentials, right? That’s, right? Some people they may not be able to get give from their personal wealth or their corporate wealth, but they are connected to lots of people who may be able to give to us or a foundation. I interviewed someone earlier today who uses is actually sort of ah, trainer on linked in hey uses, linked in board, connect on trains, organizations to use linked in board, connect to any of you use that for identifying potential board members. Anybody? Yes, that’s one of the things that we are planning to grow our board in the coming fiscal year fiscal starts in july, so we will be using board, connect as one of the tools and dish in tow board source to reach out and look for a new board members. So you haven’t used board connect yet? No. Yeah. Okay. Okay. I do plan to use it, though, so you’re so holy. You’re aware. Also aboard. Connect. I’m aware of it, but i haven’t used it. I’m creating a separate committee. A cz i told you before the interview. I’m hyre helmsley. We have a grant from the helmsley found charitable foundation and one of their charges tow us is to create a aboard for one of our programs so that we can attract funders and people who are interested in serving the deaf blind. And so i’m going to be using it soon to look for people across the country that might want to become members of this committee. Alison to make this aa two way street. How does the organization identify what it has to offer board members in return for their for their service? Right? Well, when we interview a prospect way really try and find out what? What is it that draws them to the museum? What is their interest? And for us, we have, ah, large education component. We have the whole art collection component, so they’re different reasons why a trustee would join the board of the museum. So we try and suss out what that will be. And i find a commonality is that they want to learn more. They often want to learn more about art. So for those who do, we put them on the acquisitions committee, and that way they can meet artists, and they can learn all that are they come to gallery tours. We sort of feel what? What is it that attracts them? So for others, it’s education, and they want to be part of the whole education programs. So they join the education committee for the board waken segment, their interests, and sometimes they don’t even overlap with board members. But we can sort of put them where they’re most enthusiastic. Okay, talking alternative radio twenty four hours a day. Do you need a business plan that can guide your company’s growth? Seven and seven will help bring the changes you need. Wear small business consultants and we pay attention to the details. You may miss our culture and consultant services are guaranteed to lead toe. Right, groat. For your business, call us at nine. One seven eight three, three, four, eight, six zero foreign, no obligation. Free consultation checkout on the website of ww dot covenant seven dot com are you fed up with talking points? Rhetoric everywhere you turn left or right? Spin ideology no reality, in fact, its ideology over in tow. No more it’s time for action. Join me. 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Interested simply email at info at talking alternative dot com and just while we’re still on this recruitment process, terry, how i said, terri and i looked at allison mary-jo terry, how do you explain the organization’s expectations? Is it in writing, or is it just a conversation? Thie expectations around all all the functions of a boardmember it’s through conversations way actually, in the past, our board has not really been a fund-raising board, and so we’re in the process of kind of transforming and educating our board as to their financial responsibility, even though that’s something that most people understand that that is one of the reasons why you become aboard is to support the organization, unfortunately, we have boardmember is that have not made a gif right? And so we need to have the conversation with them and to say that we need one hundred percent support, it doesn’t mean that you need to give us one hundred thousand dollars. You can give us five thousand dollars, you could give us three thousand dollars, you need to give us something so that’s one of our challenges with our organization, with a board that we are working through, even though we’re jumping way ahead in the boardmember life. Cycle that could be an indicator that it’s time for a boardmember step down exactly. In fact, we just started a new campaign to attract the millennials, the young twenties and thirty somethings to start, eh? Maybe a young, not so much a board, but a council we’re going to call the good the good counsel, and they’re going to be younger people that we want to get involved and engaged and so that they could eventually turn into board members. So we’re starting with the youth, starting with they’re all about cause marketing and the finding ways to make a difference by their volunteering, so we’re going to be working with them to do that, and then eventually, you know, have them start their own, like little special events and cultivation and awareness and marketing, and then eventually waken see floats to the top and hopefully get him on board. Okay, back-up another step, let’s say we’ve recruited the boardmember we need to keep that person active, engaged who wants to talk about keeping a boardmember active and engaged way have we’re fortunate that we have a vehicle for doing that, we can invite them to openings and too many events, but it’s really also about having them see the inner workings, lights, lights just dimmed here. Nothing wrong for those of you watching the video on youtube, there’s nothing wrong with your vision. The overhead lights all just went out here. Marriott marquis. But we’re continuing. We have our own lights powered battery so doesn’t doesn’t interrupt back on. Okay, no, don’t adjust your sets. Everything is fine. Okay? I’m sorry. Go ahead. So for example, that the trustees who are interested in education way let them come and see the classrooms that come to the museum to see the work in progress and to see the work that we do so it’s very important that they come in and see all the grassroots work that’s that’s happening. And the other thing is that we just try to make them feel special. I mean, we try to write letters that are personalized for them that nobody else could get, so that they would feel that, you know, they in fact do make a difference there. So, you know the gratitude combined with hands on and really seeing what what’s going on works to really keep them interested. Invested? In it good, great, it isn’t. One of the things that i have begun doing is whenever we get a grant or a large donation, even a small donation, but we are an organization that’s been around for one hundred twenty years or more, and so we have lots of get small gifts that we get and half for a long time, but i ask different board members to call the foundation or call the person and just a thank you they don’t ask for anything, but to in that way, they’re learning more about that organization, and they’re feeling connected and that’s been a real positive response that i’m getting. So as i said, we’ve been around for a long time, we have many donorsearch couldn’t call everyone they are picking up more and more that they can do. So. Holly, how about training training the new boardmember what does that look like for for helen keller way haven’t i haven’t started training yet since i’ve been since october, but what that will look like is for is creating a talking points and some role playing for those that haven’t gone out and ask for money, paring them with someone who has done it and feels comfortable with it, having conversations about their experience on other boards. It’s, interesting custom, many of our boardmember serve on other boards on, sometimes they’ve gone out and made asking some have not so it’s going to be a combination of things here teach person’s comfort level. At the very least, i tell boardmember sze in in the past that invite the person to join you, make your donation in first and then in fight uh, your prospect to join them if you just can’t really say, can you give x amount of dollars so that’s a nice, non threatening way to get started and asking for money. Allison, how about training the new boardmember bronx museum of the arts? What does that look like? Well, we have a retreat on annually and in terms of role playing, there was a facilitator who came and your role played about making an ask and talking about the priorities for the museum, so it was really a time it was a very concentrated long day dahna meeting the other board members really learning about the mission and learning how to move it forward howto ask. And how to do that. Nut’s involves metoo holly, it sounded almost like you have ah, maybe a mentor mentee relationship for board members is that? Is that is that overstating? No, it didn’t help that a senior boardmember mike, you that’s correct, my position is newly created position, and part of that is to help our board became come more of a fund-raising board many of our programs our government funded, so there wasn’t a need in the past to be a fund-raising board and many organizations like helen keller, are transitioning from having helly government funded programs to where they’re going to have to go out for private gifts, and they’ll get bored members more senior boardmember help with that, terry. Anyway, you want to add about training the new boardmember right that’s, exactly the same situation that good will in addition to having individual individuals support, we have also had in the past a lot of government funding, so asking board members to help with raising money is a somewhat new angle for them. So what we’ve been doing is bringing on a different new board members, for example, way just havin a new boardmember from j p morgan chase, who has been on other boards and has done fund-raising so he is kind of going to be a example or role model to the other board members to show show them how easy and painless it is, but we do have to identify tasks board members who just can’t do fund-raising or maybe maybe won’t? Well, maybe won’t takes little training, but they’re just they’re timid. They’re terrified of it. Terry, what do we identify other things that that boardmember could do around fund-raising right, right. Other than asking right it’s it’s getting them to come to different events or different cultivation events, too, talk, be an ambassador, so they’re not asking for money. They’re building awareness, they’re talking to their friends about what they do about what goodwill does and sharing the passion about what the organization’s all about and really building awareness, not so much asking for money. If they’re afraid of asking for money, they could be a representative and record. For those who are afraid, teo, ask or it’s just uncomfortable for them. We often say what we need you to do is identify potential trustees, advocate cultivate b passionate and then we come in that’s our job and the and the executive director’s stopped to come in and do the ask, so it takes the awkwardness and the onus away from them, and they feel that they can just freely invite a guest without the worry of having to do the actual ask, okay, how about may be hosting an event? They could perhaps open their home? Holly other tasks that again trying to identify things that people who will solicit can still be involved in around fund-raising well, i have someone on our board who is an attorney, and that person uses their personal skills to review documents that are very important to fund-raising such as st charitable registrations for things like that that are very important documents that keep my department moving and keep us legal and transparent, but that’s not at, you know, going out, asking for money, but it is very important to the movement of the organization. So, yes, there are other task that besides fund-raising the other part of my practice, besides plan e-giving is the charity registration i wrote. I wrote a new book on how to do-it-yourself you and i do the registrations for charities i don’t want to do. Them so very well acquainted with that enormous morass called charity registration. Terry, we’re gonna have something. Yeah, just the same thing is asking people to host a breakfast, maybe at the club, maybe at a restaurant they go to or at there. If they have a nice house or an apartment to host something again to invite their friends or people that we want to get more engaged, all they need to do is be the be the host they don’t need to ask. Okay? And we do that also especially we play in the bronx nostalgia. So we have people hosting private problem bronze talk to sow bronx artists from storytellers. We really emphasize the bronx and have these very small, intimate events at people’s homes, and those people who host often become interested because they posted they become vested. And then the whole positive spiral happens where they want to get more involved. It’s great. How about the i don’t know the recalcitrant boardmember who just either can’t do it? I won’t do it. Or that you could. But it’s just not too. Is that person need to be transitioned off the board? How do we how? Do we finesse that situation or they’re recalcitrant? Maybe about or maybe there their attendance is very poor. Maybe they are. Maybe they’re great fundraisers, but their attendance is back. You start to see these signs, how do we want to take the first shot that way? Especially the previous job i had at a small museum. It’s, very hard because in a small shop you get to develop relationships with your trustees and you realized, especially in the economic downturn in the past years, that life happens that trustees have goes divorces, they go through bad business times, and that may account for they’re not coming there, not being able to give. And i think in a small place where you built intimacy it’s really important to have some flexibility to give them, for example, if you know there’s a personal situation to give them a year or so, it is sorted out and have a little bit of leeway. On the other hand, you know, once you do that and it continues, i think then that’s, when the board president needs to talk to the boardmember find out what’s going on and have a really frank discussion about whether it’s working for both people often they’re relieved to be let off the hook. Okay, mary-jo you’re tense, that’s totally familiar with me. I mean, we in my past organisations and in this one you have sometimes people that you just know that they’re heading out because they haven’t shown up wave a big gold wheel or a rappel wheel in the four in the booth next to us. That’s what you’re hearing it’s not we’re not giving any other way, but with next to us is giving away t shirts, caps, mugs or ipad mini being in the drawing for a night. So that’s that’s what you’re hearing going so, you know, we just recently had one of our board members say that she needed to step down because life changes and different areas of interest abila different, different levels of interest in what we’re doing, we’re already priorities changed, and she said she would continue to support the organization, but she needed, you know, she just couldn’t make it to meetings, and we knew that because she hadn’t been to meetings in like, a whole year that starts to hurt ford morale generally, i mean other board. Members who are making the time fine, making time making effort start to get resentful everything right? Holly? Yes. Okay, anything you want to add more about thie transitioning off boardmember i just sort of playing what you’re doing in terms of building up a younger constituency in my past job and now in the bronx museum, trying to build a board a parallel board. It’s called the leadership council, which conserve as a farm team for future board members and also as a retirement place for trustees. Who can’t you know, the financial onus is too great as trusting, but there’s a lesser amount expected as from a leadership council member. So it’s nice to have a transition. You’re keeping them in the fold, keeping them interested. But they don’t have all the responsibilities and duties of a trusting. Do we each have term limits for boardmember ship? No, none of you have term limits. Really that’s interesting. And that’s, you know, that’s. A very double edged thing. Because in my former job we had founder syndrome. You know trustees who had been there a long time. Really? Basically. So i ran the board de facto it’s very tough. And it really made me understand why term limits would be good. On the other hand, when you have donors who give these were our biggest donors, it’s very tough to give up financial support that they provide so that’s one motivating reasons to have this other board where they could go as well. Anybody thinking about adding board limits, we would like normal social. Yeah, we would like to add term limits, that’s something that we need to have a discussion with the board president and make some changes so that we’re hoping that we can implement that, then they’re coming here, ok, way happening had that discussion on at this point way have long serving board members who and she said, contribute and are active, and i don’t want to say goodbye to them because they’re valuable to the organization and we love them. So ish, as she said it, zo double in. Okay, we have about a minute left or so anybody want one talk about anything that i didn’t ask you about, that you’re it’s on your mind because you’re doing your seven or in a couple of hours about the board relationship hyre final final final thoughts? No, nobody. Okay, well, we’ll leave it there. All right, thank you. Oh, my god. Thank you. Thank you all very much. Thank you. Say that. Remind listeners and viewers that holly bellows is chief development officer of helen keller services for the blind. And terry billy is director of corporate and foundation relations for goodwill industries of new york and new jersey. On up, of course. Alison looking for your name here? Alison? Sure. Now sorry. Director of external affairs in the bronx. Regime of the arts, ladies. Thank you very much. Thank you for sharing your experiences. Thank you for being with me. Tony martignetti non-profit radio coverage of fund-raising day two thousand thirteen i love that roulette wheel in the in the background they were giving away the big prize was an ipad mini so i heard that in a bunch of interviews always nice to have a little little pleasant background music for an interview. And my thanks, of course. Also to the organizer’s at fund-raising day i’ve got some live listener love moscow in the russian federation and in china, taiwan, guangzhou, wuhan and beijing. Ni hao i’ve been to beijing and of into wuhan, also, and seoul in south korea, on yo haserot in japan, hiroshima, metallica and tokyo. Lovett konnichi wa there’s. Plenty of domestic live listeners will get to them in a couple of minutes. Right now, we go to a break when we come back, tony’s, take two, and then gene takagi, continuing our are all aboard day with back to board basics, do keep listening. They didn’t didn’t dick, dick tooting, getting dink, dink, dink, dink, you’re listening to the talking alternate network e-giving. Dahna 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 to hell? Call us now at to one to seven to one eight, one eight three that’s to one to 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 ostomel 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 if you have big ideas but an average budget, tune into tony martignetti non-profit radio for ideas you can use. I do. I’m dr. Robert penna, author of the non-profit outcomes toolbox. And i’m dr tony martignetti and it is time for dr tony martignetti is take two. I just appointed myself phd since last week. They’re pretty easy to come by, so i figured, why go through the that the trouble? I’ll just name myself one my interview with beth cantor, which was on this show a couple of weeks ago. The video is now on my blogged you may recall, she is the author of the network to non-profit and measuring the network to non-profit we talked about riel online engagement and had a measure your success in your online efforts. That video is on my blogged at tony martignetti dot com, and i think i let you down. Last week i tried a new segment called out of the blue, and my intention was to bring things bring in people who have you are supporting non-profits but are doing work that’s not directly related to non-profits on dh sandora cats was the fermenter who are brought in, and he was terrific. He was delightful, but a zay was listening to him, and then i replayed it during the week, you know, i was kind of struck with why what? Is it why we listening? What does this have to do with non-profits it’s just not close enough to non-profits he supports non-profits um, but we didn’t talk much about that and that’s not really. Why you listen, is tto find out why people support non-profits i mean, at least not from one person’s perspective. S o we’re not goingto i’m not going to continue that out of the blue i what my intention was was to try to recognize that people who work in non-profits have lots of interests that have nothing to do with non-profits i read all the profiles of new twitter followers, and a lot of people comment on food that their food either to cook, ah, a lot of people coming on their kids, wine is a pretty popular one, different sports, so, you know, so that got me thinking people are multidemensional and maybe we should bring in some other dimensions besides non-profits and i thought a fermenter was a great place to start, but you have plenty of other podcasts, tens or hundreds of thousands of other podcast that you can go to to satisfy all those multidemensional interests that you have and i don’t think it’s right for me to try toe satisfy all those we have our niche here non-profits and picking the brains of experts to help people in non-profits that’s my mission here on this podcast, there’s plenty of other outlets for youto satisfy all those other interests that you have, so i think i let you down. We’re not going to continue out of the blue. We’re going tow. Focus more on on the core and that is tony’s take two for friday the today’s the ninth of august, the thirty second show of the year. I’m very happy to bring back jane takagi he’s, the principal of neo the non-profit and exempt organizations law group in san francisco he edits the very popular non-profit law blogged dot com and on twitter he is at gi tak gt a k welcome back, jean takagi. Hi, tony it’s. Great to be back. Thank you. I can tell you’re smiling i couldjust always telling you i could tell when you’re smiling. It’s ah it’s. Wonderful to have your energy even from san francisco. I feel it great. I’m conveying that over the phone. You absolutely are. Yes, we started this. Conversation back to board basics two weeks ago, july twenty six so you can go back and listen to that if you missed it, jean and i are going to pick up where we left off, and that was with term limits. Question of whether there should even be term limits. What’s your what’s what’s the advice around that gene. Well, first piece advice tony’s to check with your state laws because individual state laws may vary. My understanding is that under in most states, that there are no term limits, meaning that a boardmember could get reelected onto the board over and over and over again, without any restriction of the law, unless the organization’s by-laws say otherwise. So then it depends upon the individual board thinking about, well, what are the good things about keeping board members on potentially forever? Versace? What is the good thing about limiting how long any boardmember serves so we can get new people onto the board? Increased our diversity on pursue other things and other perspective. So that’s kind of the starting point, but i’m wondering, tony. What? What do you feel about board term limits if you’re serving on the board? I’m i’m pretty pro term limits. Um, in fact, i was just on a phone call this morning with someone who works at the gnu heimans center she’s an instructor there, and i mentioned that you and i are going to talk about this very subject and she said has to be bored limits has to be, yeah, i like them, i think that they they boardmember could be extended if it’s a two year term or three term, you can always extend in addition on additional term tua boardmember but after four or six or maybe even eight years, nine years, i think boardmember tze get a little stale and i’d like a fresh perspective and i think there’s other things that boardmember khun do we don’t kill them just because they leave the board, they don’t die there’s other things there’s other ways they can help that’s such a great point, tiny, and i agree with you a hundred percent, i’m there are exceptions, but i’m very much generally in the pro term limit kapin with without term limits, i think you can encourage very insular boards that get stale as you said, they could become rubber stamp. Boards just going with the flow, you may not be able to attract additional skills and perspectives of the same people are staying on the board, and you’re not bringing new people in boardmember khun get very entitled about their positions and start toe slack off a little bit, and it becomes very difficult to remove long term board members politically speaking into from a sense of relationships and when you have term limits, it really encourages bringing in those new perspectives and thoughts and skills. But the best thing you know is to make sure that when you bring in new people that you’re really engaging them and not just bringing them as tokens so that that becomes very important too. But i like your ideas of, you know, just reelecting, you know, the board members who are performing really well don’t re elect the board members that are performing poorly or unable to attend the majority of the meeting and see exactly how many terms you feel would be sufficient before you could bring in new people. The previous segment was all about keeping boardmember sze engaged from the beginning getting, you know, identifying what their passions are. So these these two segments are discussion, and the the pre recorded panel discussion are fitting together very well. Now i asked each of those three panelists if any of them had board term limits on in in their non-profits and none of them did, and one of them express the concern that their board members are major donors and they don’t want to, you know, the way she said it, they don’t want to say goodbye to them, but i do think there a said there are other things that board members khun do maybe there’s, an advisory board or something that’s, not a fiduciary capacity, legal, legal, legal duty capacity, but still meaningful and not frivolous. Yeah, i think is individuals tonny it’s natural that we like to get our egos stroked a little in there for a major donor to a non-profit to be asked to leave the board can be, uh, a difficult thing for both parties, but i agree again one hundred percent with you let’s find other rules for them. And advice report doesn’t seem to sound prestigious, but maybe emeritus board oh, it’s latin oh, that’s latin brings immediate prestige. Yeah, obviously. Okay. You know, we can we can play around with the titles of the committees and even the titles of the individual board members or former board members if we really value their contribution, we continued to engage them but have been take a term off the board and maybe if we’re not if the board is struggling to recruit and can’t find somebody, teo, take the place of the departing boardmember after term off, maybe that person can come back on again. So that may depend upon each organization but that’s, the that’s, the putin model of boardmember ship you depart and then you come on. All right, all right, well, if we’re going to implement terms, then we should talk about how long those terms should be. What, um, is there is probably not state law guidance on that kind of that. That kind of detail is there. There actually is. So there is among state laws. So some state laws, like in california, we say if you have voting members, the maximum length of a term is four years. If you don’t have voting members who elect the board, the maximum term length is six years and that’s that’s just for one one term, but doesn’t wait. I’m confused by that doesn’t every boardmember have a vote aren’t all board’s voting boards? Well, so in terms of voting members like in the auto club or a homeowner’s association where members who are not board members elect the board members? Oh, i see ok, yeah, so a lot of operations a lot, but many organizations have voting membership structures, which are much, much more administrative, burdensome and difficult to maintain, so i typically don’t recommend that for smaller public charity type organizations, but for other organizations that do have voting members, they’re subject to different, or they may be subject to different term length rules under state laws. So be careful of that there’s also a special on california that i think maybe in other states as well. That says ifyou’re by-laws and articles don’t define what a term length is it’s automatically set that one year, so many organizations get tripped up on that. They didn’t contemplate that in their by-laws and they let boardmember stay on until the board members feel like, you know they want to resign, and you’ve got to make sure that the elections are going on on a regular basis, just sort of on the side, the by-laws air are so important because our don’t state laws have lots of defaults for by-laws being silent on different issues, absolutely. Tony, you’re one hundred percent right? So if if you’re by-laws don’t contemplate something than the default will be, whatever the state could end up with a lot of things you didn’t even know you had, right? And now imagine if you’ve got a board that didn’t do proper elections and you’ve got one boardmember who voted the opposite way from everybody else and then says, well, it doesn’t matter that it was ten against one, this sport isn’t properly compose. I challenge the validity of that action that that one thing can trip up the whole board until they solve that issue. Okay, okay, so we just have, like, a minute and a half or so before a break different term, you know, i guess obviously the shorter the term, the fresher the board is going to be, but you’re going to lose, you know, institutional knowledge. Yeah. And so what is the expectation when you recruit a boardmember if you recruit a new boardmember and you say the term length is one year, they make oh, yeah, easy commitment, but they made me feel very good about serving that one year before they really got you know the organization and develop a director for that organization and then leave after one year feeling fulfilled. Meanwhile, the organization may not be very satisfied with just the one year term. Human three year are probably more common, but some lawyers actually liked the one year term because it allows boards to get rid of or shed. Directors are really not performing very well ever failing to attend meetings, failing to live up to their produce, very duties where it otherwise might be a little bit complicated. Relationship wise toe formally remove. All right, so you can get you could get rid of the trouble quickly on. You could just continue to reappoint them. And i guess if you had one year terms, you probably want they’re to be many possible successive terms allowed. Yeah. You might set your term limits that something like four or five in that case? Yeah. Okay. All right. We’re going to go away for a couple minutes, of course. Jean stays with me and hope that everybody else does, too. And we’ll get some live listener loving as soon as we come back. You’re listening to the talking alternative network. Oppcoll oppcoll 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 hunters. People be better business people. Oppcoll 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. Gotta live listener love all over the country mesa, arizona golden, colorado in daytona beach, florida live listener loved to you, newport, north carolina and brooklyn, new york live listener love podcast pleasantries gotta send those out, especially to germany, where there’s a big subset of podcast listeners and if you are a podcast listener and you want some podcast pleasantry sent directly to you, let me know who you are, you know there’s ah there’s, facebook, there’s, twitter, there’s a contact page on my block. Let me know where you’re listening from, and i will send you those podcast pleasantries. Always great for the for the live listeners as well. Jean, what if we had a hybrid? What if we what if we make the first term one year? I kind of like this one term one year term, and i’ve really thought about it until you mentioned and we started talking about this topic. What if you had a first term is one year and then successive terms are two years or maybe three years? Could you do that? Yeah, absolutely. Tony there’s there’s actually a lot of room in the by-laws if you decide if the board decides it wants to spend some time to create the right structures. You could do something like, like, one year for your first term. And if everybody gets along in this thing well, to do the second term of two or three years and that might be sort of communicated to prospective board members with the understanding that the first years kind of that test period. Although everybody has their fiduciary duties to live up to. But they hope that they’ll be continued service after after that term. All right, so it also doing my classes, tony? So we could have different classes of attorneys or different classes of directors? Sorry. Lawyers? Yes, yes, everybody. The whole world is attorneys. Everybody knows that the world revolves around the all of them. And then they’re just two or three people out there who are not lawyers. Yeah. Further embarrassed, not you. You’re welcome. So, yes, we could have different classes of directors out there in some classes of directors. Could have a two year term. Some might have a three year term. Some might be prone to term limits of two term limit. Some might be subjected to classes, but how? You gonna decide how you decide who’s in which class, when i have tears and and the senior the three year member is going to look down on the lonely one year members? How you going to make those distinctions? Yeah, really top i mean, this is these air possibilities that you, khun contemplate the sea if they would fit within your organization, but yeah, creating different respect levels for remembers, but absolutely be wrong. So i understand your caution there about forming classes and maybe classes is not the right word now, but still different to you, even tears. Or, you know, however you however you euthanize it. It’s still g. She got a three year term and i only get a one year term. Why is that? We often do that originally with brand new organizations to get staggered board. So if you have a two year term and you start the initial board members everybody in two years, everybody turns off at the same time. But by staggering it, having some served three years in some serve two years and sometimes that’s done just by lottery. Believe it or not, ok, that won’t can get half the board being elected each year, i guess if it’s random, then then i could see you’d overcome at least the personality or ego concerns. All right, but what? So what are your recommendations around term limits? What is gene takagi like? I generally like to the three year term limits, although i’m not opposed to what you just suggested about having a one year initial terms and then two or three year terms after i do think that it’s important to get that commitment from directors, that it’s not just going to be this one year where we’re expecting you to serve for one year and then you can jump off and serve on another board, i’d like to see a longer term commitment and deeper bond created between the organization and its director. Okay, now, when you’re talking to non-profit clients do do they ask you, what should we do on then? Do you deflect that back to them, or how does that how do you finish that? Yeah, it’s a good question, tony, you know, i can’t get to paternal about it and just tell people what the best practices, so we have to make sure that it fits what their individual facts and circumstances are not if they’re three, you know, founders of the organization that want to be on the board and are going to champion other people, the recruitment of other people, perhaps those three founders, they’re goingto have longer terms uh then then the subsequent boardmember is that get brought on, but it really depends because we don’t want to create that class hyre key system that you suggested before, so we’ll have to take a look at stuff like that. Very careful, okay, it xero only is individual and look, look at gene is not a paternalistic attorney, one of the few you said it, so i’m sure he’s not, um, let’s, let’s look att since we’re talking about being on a board and being removed from aboard, should there be automatic removal if you’re not not performing up to snuff? Well, removal for not performing up to snuff is going to require a board decision and that’s going to be governed by state laws well, and even if state law permit sports to remove poor performing directors, practically speaking it’s, so hard to do, especially if that boardmember is also a donorsearch otherwise, support organization in other ways what we like to see is an automatic removal provisions, but only for failing to attend board meetings. So for example, if there was, you know, the board meeting’s every two months, if you fail to attend three successive board meetings without an excuse that had been approved by the board, even either before or after the fact you are automatically removed without further board action, so the board doesn’t actually have to vote to remove you. You’ve just automatically been removed, and they called me allow that. Okay, of course, then you’d want to go a little further and define does attendance mean live attendance in in person? Or can it be attendance by phone? I think it’s the state laws permit by phone than and the by-laws permitted as well, and most state laws, i would say, would permit it by phone, then you’re fine. I would count that as attendance, but if you just failed to show up at all and then it’s something else and it may be whether you’re sick or you’re you’re on sabbatical or have a valid excuse that the board is willing to say where we’re going toe not apply this removal rules because of this exception, but then the board approves to save a person they don’t approve. They don’t vote to remove a person, which is much, much harder. Yes. Ok, i see. All right, just about a minute or so before we go. What about having young people on boards if it’s appropriate to your mission? But in certain states, including new york, they have provisions for having young people onboard. Youth onboarding i think in new york you have to be above sixteen years old, and only organizations that served used or deal with issues like education or juvenile delinquency are allowed to have such boardmember okay, other states there expressly not allowed, you must be eighteen in order to do it, but most states i think forty states are silent on the issue now, it’s great to engage in engagement is the key word again. You to participate with boards and maybe having them entitled toe participate in board meetings is a great idea latto have them on the board and giving them fiduciary duties can be a little bit more problematic if you’re going to do that and there may. Be some rare exceptions where i think that that’s okay, you want to make sure that they’re not tokens and that their contributions are valid and their vote is equal to anybody, anybody? Else’s, vote on that board, you’ve got to be very careful now you can probably be held liable for breaching their fiduciary duties, although that’s not very clear, and if it was really agreed, just perhaps they could, and they can’t sign contracts on behalf of the organization because they probably wouldn’t be enforceable. So be careful about having that emily chan, my former colleague wrote a great block post called youth boardmember khun miners serve on a non-profit board that that i recommend for any organization considering having having young people on their board. Jean, we have to stop there. Is that? Is that blood post at on your block? It non-profit latto block dot com it is, and it was also captured in a non-profit quarterly article as well. Okay, thank you very much, gene. Great, thanks. Durney pleasure you confined gene at that non-profit law blogged or at g tack on twitter next week a fund-raising day interview we’ll start and then maria semple is here she’s, our prospect research contributor and the prospect finder the overhead myth show his book i got the three ceos who signed the overhead myth letter are going to be with me on september sixth. That’s, the ceo of better business bureau wise giving alliance guidestar and charity navigator, and ken berger from charity navigator has been on the show before. I would love to have your questions for these three ceo’s these three signers of the overhead myth letter you know you can ask questions on twitter, through facebook or contact page on my blogged love to have your questions for these ceos, please insert sponsor message over nine thousand leaders, fundraisers and board members of small and midsize charities. 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