Tag Archives: nonprofit board best practices

Nonprofit Radio for March 22, 2021: Build Your Best Better Board

My Guest:

Gene Takagi

Gene Takagi: Build Your Best Better Board
Gene Takagi returns! He’s got strategies to help you build the diverse, effective, thoughtful, appropriately-sized, well-trained board you deserve. He’s our legal contributor and managing attorney of NEO, the Nonprofit and Exempt Organizations law group.


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[00:01:39.64] spk_0:
Hello and welcome to tony-martignetti non profit radio big non profit ideas for the other 95%. I’m your aptly named host of your favorite abdominal podcast, and I’m glad you’re with me. I’d come down with dyskinesia if you gave me a taste of the idea that you missed this week’s show. Build your best Better board. Jeanne Takagi returns. He’s got strategies to help you build the diverse, effective, thoughtful, appropriately sized, well trained board you deserve. He’s our legal contributor and managing attorney of Neo, the nonprofit and exempt organizations law group tony State, too. Podcast pleasantries and planned giving accelerator. We’re sponsored by turn to communications, PR and content for nonprofits. Your story is their mission. Turn hyphen two dot c o. It’s my pleasure to welcome back, as it always is. Jeanne Takagi. These are legal contributor, managing attorney of Neo, the nonprofit and Exempt Organizations Law Group in San Francisco. He edits the enormously popular nonprofit law blog dot com and is a part time lecturer at Columbia University. The firm is that neo law group dot com, and he’s at G Attack Gene, welcome back to the show.

[00:01:41.84] spk_1:
Thanks, Tony. It’s great to be back. How are you?

[00:01:59.94] spk_0:
I’m doing well. Thank you. It’s always a pleasure. Many, many years. It’s a pleasure. Each time you’re you are teaching us what’s important, what we need to keep centered. What’s, uh where are ships Should all be facing in the same direction. So what direction is that? You keep us. Keep us on the straight path. I appreciate it. I know our listeners due to thank you.

[00:02:06.34] spk_1:
Thank you, Tony.

[00:02:23.84] spk_0:
Let’s get started with your building. Your best. Better board. We’re not We’re not gonna We’re not going to settle on nonprofit radio for your lackluster better board. We want your best, Better board. And I think the place to start is with board roles. So what are we expecting our board members to do?

[00:02:52.74] spk_1:
Yeah, I love this conversation, tony. It’s actually one of my favorites. And yeah, it was probably Gosh, it was early on, I think when we first talked a little bit about boards getting sort of distracted from doing the financial oversight and forgetting to do some of the other things that boards are supposed to do. Um, and, you know, part of what we talked about could have been, like 78 years ago was like, Hey, somebody should be over overseeing. You know, whether the program’s doing Are they having an impact or not? Are they really furthering your mission in the way that you want them to?

[00:03:11.94] spk_0:
You know, I have to remind you you and I did a mock board meeting one time, and either you threw me off the border. I walked out. I forget

[00:03:15.22] spk_1:

[00:03:30.04] spk_0:
back in the old studio was many years ago. I don’t know what we’re talking about. Something board related, obviously. But, uh, yeah, either I got booted off or I walked out and quit. I forget, uh, we’re trying to avoid that. We’re trying to avoid that in our best better board,

[00:03:32.54] spk_1:
but we’re definitely going to try to approach any of these things with extreme tact

[00:03:37.84] spk_0:
I lack, which I often lack. I probably walked out. I probably quit or something.

[00:06:01.14] spk_1:
Yeah, just just overall, the same financial diligence is great. So take a look at the financials, make sure you understand them and make sure that the organization is able to pay off its debts that they become do that you’re not sort of bleeding money and just managing your financial assets. But non profits exist more than to produce a financial bottom line, of course. So you know in the for profit world boards and probably got a different duty, maybe a little bit more. I mean, everybody has to act in the best interests of the corporation, right? That’s a fiduciary duty. But what is the best interests of the corporation for for profit? Oftentimes it’s associated, at least in large part the benefit of its owners or shareholders. But in the non profit, there are no shareholders or owners, right? It’s for the benefit of advancing the mission. And that’s what the board has got to remember, that it’s got to be purpose driven. It’s got to be, um, acting in furtherance of the mission ahead of everything else. Um, and the one caveat I’ll add to that which we may have talked a little bit about before, as well is you’ve got to add values to that statement, so their values probably baked into your mission statement but also baked into the organizational culture. So if our mission is to feed people who are experiencing homelessness or a lack of income, resources or we’re not just going to throw food out in a trough, right? You know that might be the best way or the most effective way to get as many people fed as possible. But that would be completely inconsistent with anybody’s values. Or so values and mission sort of go hand in hand, and focusing on that is really important. So not just financial oversight, the programmatic oversight the role of the board has got to look forward to. You’ve got to set the path with those values and mission for the organization’s future, not just looking behind you, but looking ahead, um, and so guiding the organization with those thoughts, acting as ambassadors, getting the feedback from the environment about what challenges and what opportunities may be out there. Those are all things the board can bring back to the executive and to the staff, sort of to help them do their best.

[00:06:44.34] spk_0:
And these are all very, uh, lofty. And and, um, I don’t want to say pedagogical, because that makes it sound like they’re not grounded, but But these are these are very we haven’t even talked about. You know how many board meetings you have to attend in a year. And how many subcommittees you have to serve on? You know, we haven’t gotten to that yet. You know, we’re talking about the the ambition, but it has to be centered. It’s It’s like you said. It’s the mission and values of the organization. I mean, if someone doesn’t respect those, then you’re not gonna get your best better board. You’re going to get a crappy person. Maybe it gives a lot of money, but ultimately, the ships are not sailing in the same direction with all the board members on each one.

[00:06:50.14] spk_1:
Yeah, I think that’s right. And I loved your introduction about having the best Better board. Not this lackluster,

[00:07:13.34] spk_0:
lackluster better. But yeah, that’s for other podcasts, not on the radio. We don’t tolerate lackluster mediocrity, mediocre better boards that we want to. We want the best Better board. All right, so So it really it really does start with loft and ambition around around Mission and values.

[00:07:15.74] spk_1:
I definitely think so.

[00:07:29.44] spk_0:
Yeah. Okay. Okay. So now let’s drill down. I mean, in terms of what we’re expecting the board to do, you have to be up front with what these expectations are and that that happens in recruitment, right? Not not in their first board meeting. You should be explaining the expectations while you’re talking to somebody about joining the board. Not after they have joined.

[00:07:41.54] spk_1:
Absolutely. And too often. I see tony and I don’t know if you’ve experienced this as well, but somebody tries to recruit you onto the board and they go, It’s really not that much work, you know. It’s easy. Um, well, that’s going to get you a lackluster and maybe not even a better board. So,

[00:07:59.57] spk_0:

[00:08:45.54] spk_1:
yeah, so it really is about setting expectations of Hey, you really believe in this mission and you have the same values that we’re trying to move forward with. Let’s do something great with this organization. Let’s make a great impact here. This is These are the kind of things that we expect of our board. This is how often we meet. You know, this is, um, what we expected each board member in terms of attendance and in terms of maybe making a meaningful contribution. I don’t like set amounts because that can hurt diversity and inclusive inclusion. But a meaningful donation to to the organization it could be in time if not in money or in other ways. But the expectations, I think, need to be spelled out in front before you actually invite somebody onto the board.

[00:09:00.24] spk_0:
And when you’re spelling them out, I mean, do you Do you like to see a writing a document with, you know, Please take this home with you and consider consider, as we’re having our conversations about about you being on the board, consider all these things like you give them a document to read or just a conversation.

[00:09:24.64] spk_1:
I think both tony. So I I you know, it may depend upon the organization how formal they get, but if you do actually have a recruiting sort of policy or procedure or recruiting committee in place, I like to put some things down in writing just to make sure that we’re all on the same page and letting people know what the organization’s expectations are and how often boards meet. And if there is a meaningful contribution, expectations all of those things up front. So if somebody is not interested, they can right away say, you know, this isn’t for me, you know, I like what you do. But it’s not for me and another person who might say I’m really interested in doing all of those things. You know? I’d love to be a part of your board,

[00:10:11.94] spk_0:
All right? So be upfront about expectations. There’s no point in in concealing the work and the requirements, only to have the person blindsided when it comes time around, when it comes time for each board member to make their annual contribution. And and And they didn’t know that it was supposed to be a meaningful gift or they didn’t know there was a board giving requirement of any sort. You know, when it comes time to assign committee. So I didn’t know I was gonna be on a committee. I thought I just came to board member board meetings four times a year. Now we have committee meetings to I didn’t know about that, and then you set yourself up for a disaster.

[00:10:46.54] spk_1:
Yeah, I think that’s right. And if you if you start to um, the danger of it is is you don’t want to just sort of create this list of these are the things you have to do for the organization to run. You’ve got to always again relate it back to the mission and values. This is why we love to contribute as board members to the organization. Because this is what impact we can have. And this is the direction we see ourselves going to be able to have even greater impact. So you just keep reinforcing that message to get your best board members.

[00:10:55.74] spk_0:
You let me ask you a question. Are you Are you, uh Are you by any chance, playing with a pen or or anything?

[00:11:02.14] spk_1:
I am not rocking back and forth on my chair.

[00:11:06.44] spk_0:
And I know there’s, like, a little clicking, and I’m not. I know you’re not. I know you’re not typing like you’re not writing a document while we’re talking

[00:11:13.94] spk_1:
about you’re

[00:11:14.15] spk_0:
writing a client agreement or something.

[00:11:16.51] spk_1:
Typical things you expect from a lawyer, right?

[00:11:32.14] spk_0:
Yeah. You double bill your time, right. You get $800 an hour billed to clients at $400 an hour. You’re sitting in one’s office. You’re doing the work for the other. No. Okay. No, you’re not. Your hands are free, okay? I don’t know. There’s, like, little the mice are clicking or

[00:11:33.26] spk_1:
something. Maybe I’m rocking in my chair. I will try to hold back my enthusiasm.

[00:12:18.04] spk_0:
Okay, Alright. It doesn’t It doesn’t sound like that. Okay, Well, listeners, I can’t identify the sound of the but I’ll call it out because I’m not going to keep it quiet because we all hear it, so we’ll talk about it. Well, I don’t know what it is. This little tapping, clicking my mouse sound. Let’s talk about diversity. This should be a value. You and I have talked about this. We’ve had heartfelt conversations a couple of times about white male power and using that power and sharing power. And so let’s talk about diversity as a value for your board. How does that play into what we’re talking about? Your your best. Better board?

[00:14:50.74] spk_1:
Sure. You know, for the organizations who have responded to sort of this increasing understanding and awareness that diversity is an issue in various aspects, not just on board composition, but in the way our infrastructure as a country and even as the world is designed where, um, people who are in positions of power, no matter what race or gender or whatever, whatever they are tend to create systems that keep themselves in power. And so diversity has this great benefit of saying, Let’s take other lenses and look at what we’re doing. And look at the world that we’re in, um, for nonprofits, especially the world that’s directly impacting what we’re trying to do out there for. The people were trying to do it for what is impacting it, who is being affected the most, Um, and if that’s important to to organizations and their leaders, then I think they’ve really got to embrace diversity, not just by saying it, but by actually putting action steps into what they’re doing, Whether that’s going to be building it into true board diversity with inclusion. So not making people feel, you know, like they’re they’re just a simple tokens of taking a better picture but really being able to contribute to the power of the organization to address things that other people may not have seen. So, you know, I may identify with people who I relate to, but I may have very little understanding your perspective of people who are different from me who congregate in different circles who have different ideas. Um, and we have to think about all of those things, especially for serving a classic. Beneficiaries that are board members may be far away from. So if we have a board that’s more privileged, and we are helping a lot of people who don’t have some of the privileges that the board may have in terms of representation, how will we ever see the world through their lens? How will they understand? How will we understand where services are doing from their eyes? So trying to to get that diversity in an inclusive matter for purposes of increasing equity, I think, is a value that non profit should strive for.

[00:16:11.94] spk_0:
It’s time for a break turn to communications relationships. They’ve got the relationships with the media outlets so that when you need to be in the news, when there’s a news item that you need to comment on, your voice needs to be heard. Turn to has the relationships to get you heard. It’s not cold calling. They have the existing relationships. They give it like gifts. You get a lot of gifts from cold calls. Do you get any gifts from cold calls? You get your best gifts from cold calls. If you’re doing cold call fundraising. No, you don’t. Of course, it’s the same with media. The relationships are in place. So when you want to be heard, turn to picks up the phones and leverages those relationships That way you’re gonna get heard. Turn to communications. Turn hyphen. Two dot c o. Now back to build your best. Better board. Diversity has to be centered. Um, but And you wanted to go deeper than just like the board should reflect the community or the board should reflect those we serve. You mean you’re looking for something deeper than just reflecting an environment?

[00:18:17.04] spk_1:
I think so. So it is reflecting different perspectives as well. So I think traditionally, we thought of it as a skills based diversity. Like we need a lawyer. We need an accountant. We need a financial manager, a fundraiser on our board. And then we became all a little bit more woke and we said, Hey, we need racial diversity in our organizations. Um, but we didn’t say why that was or many of us didn’t say, why do we need racial diversity in our organizations? Is it simply to make it look like we embrace diversity and we take the better picture? Or is it because we want a true understanding from somebody else with a different lens and perspective? Who could tell us if there are gaps in our services for their communities? If there are gaps in the laws that are creating inequities that affect our mission as well? So the more we get these other perspectives, whether it be from a racial diversity angle from a disability angle, which I think is increasingly a really important thing to look at as we are facing an older population where disabilities are highly, you know, they make up a great percentage of our organizations and they’re kind of sort of the the unseen Group in many ways, um, we’re just getting started on addressing some of those concerns. But, um, the way we serve people can really miss many of those that are impacted, that that would be true beneficiaries of our service if they could access our services. But if we don’t make it accessible to them, then we just missed them, and that may be completely unintentional. But if we don’t have people who can identify and spot those things because they live it, um that would be, you know, short a shortfall in leadership. And that’s where we have to sort of address, Um, taking a look with a much broader lens and not just in our boards, but in our programming, in our staffing and just getting more awareness and bringing more lenses to what we’re doing.

[00:18:55.54] spk_0:
Let’s talk about bringing someone new to the board because we’re gonna be recruiting our new board members that are going to be part of our best better board. So now if we’ve recruited the right people, we need to socialize them to the organization. It’s more than I think. It’s more than just formal training. You know, the the organization has a culture. The board has a culture. Hopefully, they’re healthy. Let’s assume, but let’s take that. Let’s assume that these are healthy. Culture is not. Not. Cultures were trying to reverse, uh, you know, like intolerance or something. But healthy cultures. There’s a formal training and an informal training.

[00:20:26.74] spk_1:
I absolutely agree with you, so you know orientations can start even at recruitment. But once you decide that you want to elect somebody onto the board and they want to be part of the board and you elect them. I think it really is important now for them to be ingrained in what the organizations and the board culture is, what the priorities are getting a better sense of what the programs are. I’ll confess. I’ve been part of boards where I may not have a very good understanding of some of the programs. I get lost in some of, you know, again, the financial reports and maybe one program officer. You know, a year shows up and describes their program well, that that’s not really giving me a full sense of what the organization is doing. So more of that, um, is really going to be beneficial. Um, it will also help in sort of preventing there from being this wall between who the board is and who the staff and who are. The people that are actually implementing the program are other than the executive director, so boards often just meet with the executive director. But in an orientation or training, I think more deeply getting ingrained and that’s a board staff retreat. Joint retreats are good things. Board buddies and maybe a board staff buddy system could also

[00:20:31.34] spk_0:
is that like is that a mentoring board board buddy?

[00:20:53.34] spk_1:
Yeah, I think it could be partly mentoring, but I think the relationship really extends both ways, right? We can get more information from an outsider’s perspective to help the organization, and when they have fresh eyes, they may see different things. So instead of just saying, I know more than you, I’m going to mentor you. We can be buddies and learn from each other.

[00:20:56.64] spk_0:
And then you mentioned staff buddies, too.

[00:21:21.34] spk_1:
Yeah, I I don’t think it’s a bad idea for boards again to get more involved with their staff. We don’t want to micromanage. So there is this fine line there. But just getting an understanding from the staff about what they see in the organization, I think is important other than the executive director who may be the one who attends every board meeting. But if we just see one other staff member once a year, that really isn’t giving a sense of what is going on and what the organizational culture is. We might know what the board culture is, but do we really know what the organizational culture is?

[00:22:10.34] spk_0:
If it’s a staff buddy, it’s not only micromanagement, from the board member down. But then you also have to be conscious of the staff member trying to leverage a relationship with a board member like trying to do something or avoid doing something that the CEO may want or their vice president that they report to may want or something. You know, uh, that just it has to be managed. That’s all. Just You have to be conscious of the possibility of somebody exploiting and a relationship with the board members saying things that are inappropriate. The board members.

[00:22:52.14] spk_1:
I think this has to be designed with a consultant who really understands the area because you’re absolutely right. Tony. Yeah, if you if you aren’t careful, what you’re doing is you’re creating people going behind the executives back to make complaints to board members. And that’s not what the purpose is. So it might be controlled by saying, Hey, the board staff buddy thing is a meeting of the board and staff person in a joint group in a group where we’re all meeting in different corners of the room and just talking about certain specific topics so it can be regulated a little bit more carefully with rules of the game spelled out in advance. This is not a place to complain about employment issues. This is Yeah.

[00:23:04.34] spk_0:
Um, what do you like for board terms? What do you have? Advice? Two years? Three years? Should How many? How many years or how many terms should board members be allowed to continue on?

[00:24:00.64] spk_1:
Um, there’s there’s not, you know, one specific answer. I hate the lawyers. Answer. It depends. It does. But let me just say in a large number of cases, I like the 2 to 3 year term, both balancing a little bit of need for continuity and giving a fair expectation to a new board member of that. This is not just going to be a one year thing and you’re out. Um uh, and I like to have board terms to make sure that the board doesn’t become very insular and its thinking and in its diversity by keeping board members on perpetually until they’re ready to resign. It also makes it hard to ever remove a board member if people think that they have a right to serve on the board forever. So I kind of like board members not to be on board for, like maybe five or six years. Um, having said that, there are times

[00:24:02.67] spk_0:
when to not be on for five or six years

[00:24:04.99] spk_1:
to beyond that

[00:24:08.44] spk_0:
beyond. For five, like maybe two, 23 year terms, two year terms or 23 year terms of the most

[00:24:41.64] spk_1:
something. Something like that. Now, a lot of exceptions to that, if you have, if you had trouble building aboard and you have some great champions on the board. But those have been kind of the long term people who really know and really invested, and everybody else has been sort of lackluster. Um, I don’t think you should kick off your strongest board members, so you have to really think about that before you implement it. It is sort of an idealistic goal to have those term limits and, um, 2 to 3 year terms. But in other situations, I would say one size doesn’t fit. Also, take a look at your own board composition first before you make those type of decisions.

[00:25:19.94] spk_0:
What about in terms of socializing to the board, having social events for the board? Occasionally, Maybe it’s a dinner after a meeting. Um, I wouldn’t have cocktails before a meeting. But you could have cocktails after a meeting, you know, trying to get the board to get to know the members, to know each other outside the board. What else do you do? You go skiing, you go snowmobiling. You know, you’re a Fisher fisherman. You know things like that.

[00:25:26.34] spk_1:
Yeah, I love that idea. I’ve even had cocktails before boarding. So,

[00:25:31.63] spk_0:
uh, all right,

[00:26:10.84] spk_1:
but yes, um, for board members to trust each other and to be open to each other’s ideas and respect each other, the more you know each other, the more likelihood that that’s all going to happen and that you’re going to actually build the board culture rather than have people who don’t know each other who are trying to get out of the meeting, to watch a basketball game or be home with their family and sort of sit and say, This is my duty. For the next hour, I’m going to sit here, take notes and listen and try to do my job. But think of it just as a job. It’s going to be less productive. I think that if you come in and say I love these people that are kind of get to work with. And we’re trying to build something great so we can make change in the world or in our community. And so I really like coming to these events and getting a sense of it. Sometimes there’s, you know, those ice breaker things you know, for five or 10 minutes in front of a meeting that can be hit or miss and oftentimes a

[00:26:33.10] spk_0:
miss. How many people can you talk to in 10 minutes?

[00:26:35.46] spk_1:
Yeah, and that’s another reason why you shouldn’t have too big a board as well. If you have 50 people at a to our board meeting, how many people are going to get to

[00:26:51.84] spk_0:
talk, right? That’s yeah, So I know that I know your answer is there’s no hard and fast answer for this one. But since you just let into it, share your advice on on board size,

[00:28:13.54] spk_1:
Yes. So my maybe not so helpful advice is not too few and not too many, um, that if we dive down a little deeper, you need, um or you’d like to have as many board members as you can utilize to help you govern the organization and help the organization and the board do its best job. So if that number is eight, or if that number is 15, that’s, you know that may be your ideal board size. It’s more important to me to get the right people on the board, um, rather than the right number. But if you can, if you have less than five and you’re a mature organization, I start to worry that you’re gonna lack that diversity in many different perspectives. Um, and if you’ve got more than 20 I have a feeling that a lot of board members feel like their contributions are not being heard because they don’t have an opportunity to sort of verbally contribute, especially if there are few dominant board members at meetings and in a two hour meeting, even 20 people are going to have a chance to say how much about how many issues it will be very few. So to really think about that, and you want to encourage board members to attend every board meeting, not just sort of half of the board meetings or think that they can take a free ride because you’ve got enough people to do that job. I’ll just help on a committee. You don’t want them to feel that way. You want them to feel very invested.

[00:28:31.24] spk_0:
So you feel like an expectation is you attend every board meeting either physically or virtually.

[00:28:33.84] spk_1:
I think that’s the expectation. And if people are missing, you know, one out of 41 out of five meetings, one out of 10 meetings, you know that might be acceptable for special circumstances. But you don’t want it to be a habit. I think you want to aspire to have everybody attend all of them.

[00:28:58.64] spk_0:
Okay, Um, what do you What do you feel like talking about board wise that we haven’t talked about yet? Let’s not go to how to get rid of a board member yet that’s that’s toward the end. What’s your what’s on your mind around your best? Better board?

[00:30:44.94] spk_1:
Well, we talked about kind of the expectations of what the board should do, but they think each director’s gotta ask that question of themselves as well. And maybe that’s part of the board. Recruitment and orientation package is kind of a list of however many 10 things that board members should aspire to do themselves, uh, to be part of this board and attend all meetings. We talked about that, but what else should they do? They should review financials regularly, so if they’re getting a financial before each meeting, they should review them. They should know that they are expected to ask questions that might be at the board meeting or that might be before the board meeting. But if they’re getting information aboard package in advance, which they should get, um, about the matters that are going to be up for discussion at the board, they should know that they should review it first. And if they have any questions, they should share it with the group. Um, and that doesn’t happen enough, in my opinion, that there are these questions and everybody saves it for the board meeting, and then they run out of time to discuss all the issues that they want to. So just having it kind of on an email sort of mass email, the board package comes out on email, and people can ask questions about it so that everybody gets an advanced preview of what some of the issues are before you go into that board meeting and then start to discuss things a little bit more detail. Some of those things might need a little research to be answered to. The executive might have to talk to an accountant or a lawyer or someone else and say, Let’s find out what the answer is and you know that does away with that issue even before the meeting, if you can share that information. So that’s another thing to just think about.

[00:31:35.04] spk_0:
What about managing the board? Uh, some. Some larger organizations have a board liaison where that’s probably not most of our listeners with someone who’s devoted to the board. I think that’s more like university style, big university style. But there doesn’t have to be a lot of staff support for the board. I mean, not only the you mentioned getting the board packages to them at least a week. I’d say in advance, maybe a week or 10 days in advance, something like that. But it goes beyond that. Board members have questions. Have these questions that you’re suggesting they ask in advance of meetings? Um, committee work has to be supported. How do we How do we make sure that we’re giving the board members the support that they need.

[00:33:00.24] spk_1:
Yeah, and it’s a great balance. Is it? Well, it’s a great question, but it is a tough one to answer because of the balance that you have to think of. You want the board to be informed so that they can be of help to the organization. But you don’t want the board to put on so many demands upon the staff that they’re really hurting the staff’s ability to do the work of the organization, the programmatic work that’s needed. So there is a little bit of balance there. I know many staff members and executives hate kind of preparing the board for the board meeting because it may take so much work. Sometimes it’s because they’re trying to justify what they are doing to the board, because the board may come in with a little bit of a negative skew about, you know, prove to us that you’re doing good work of some kind. That may be the perception that the staff is getting. I don’t think any boards are overtly saying that, but I feel that staff can come into it a little bit defensively in preparation of board materials rather than this is an ally of ours. This should be the strongest ally that we have this board group. Let’s give them information and questions for them so that they can help us do our job better. Um, and that takes time. But how many staff are involved with the executive? Certainly is meeting with them. That probably goes without saying if there is a financial person there other than the executive, that person should probably have frequent contact.

[00:35:45.54] spk_0:
It’s time for Tony’s take to the podcast. Pleasantries. They gotta go out. That’s what we start with. Plan giving accelerator that’s coming. The podcast. Pleasantries. Uh, I’m enjoying the nostalgia of sending these again. I’ve missed it. I guess I I ignored it for a while. My my mistake. I’m sorry about that. Pleasantries to you, our podcast listener. Well, you individually. But there’s more than just one of you out there. There’s over 13,000 of you out there. So, to the podcast, listeners pleasantries. You know, I’m grateful. I am. I’m glad you’re with us. I’m glad you’re learning that non profit radio helps you helps your organization open conversations, take action steps, open discussions with the board. Your CEO, your vice president, Whoever it is, you bring stuff too. I’m glad it helps you do all that. And I hope there’s the action steps to I’m sure there are. There is. I’m sure there are the action steps. I’m sure there are. Thanks for being with us. Thanks for being with me. Pleasantries to our podcast listeners. Each of you plan giving accelerator that is the online membership community that I created to help you get your plan giving program started and growing. It’s a membership that you join for a year, and I teach you month by month lesson by lesson, Step by step. Everything you need to get your planned giving program started and growing. If you’re not doing planned giving and you would like to be, is it on your to do list? Have you, like so many folks? Say to me, Had this on your mind for a couple of years. You can get it done. You can get it started to get the initial thing started, and that’s done and then the program continues. I mean, the program doesn’t finish after a year. You continue your playing giving program indefinitely, of course, but you’ll get plan giving off your to do list. You get the going done. Your started 2021. The next class starts April 1st, all the info on how to pick my brain and have me teach you planned giving starting up step by step. Is that planned? Giving accelerator dot com. Okay, that is Tony’s Take two. We’ve got Boo Koo, but loads more time for build your best better board with Jean Takagi.

[00:36:41.93] spk_1:
I didn’t mean to downplay the role of somebody from programming coming in speaking to the board once in a while, I think I wanted to say that that was insufficient for the board to know what’s going on programmatically. But having people come in a little bit more regularly, or at least providing materials to the board more regularly about the program’s impact, you know, and that could be through stories as well. I’m kind of like in fundraising make the board engaged with what the organization is doing programmatically and invested in doing more to help the organization do better with its programs, either serve more people are doing in a better way. You want to create that connection so that the board rallies around you and actually helps you rather than just again just providing oversight and saying We want to make sure everything is lawful. Give us all this information to make, you know, make sure that we can do that. You want to do get more from your board.

[00:37:26.53] spk_0:
I like the idea of regular presentations at board meetings from from program staff. Maybe the 1st 15 minutes of a board meeting every time is from some different employee. Maybe maybe it’s not a unique pro, maybe not different programs every time. But I like the idea of devoting some board time each each meeting to to programs to what our work is, but but not being acquainted by the CEO. But having someone who’s on the ground doing the work answering, I think that would be a real fertile ground for questions to from the board and provides ongoing training.

[00:37:28.53] spk_1:
I think so, too, and maybe even somebody who is a beneficiary of the services

[00:37:32.89] spk_0:
beneficiary to yes

[00:37:51.23] spk_1:
to say Hey, you know you get a chance to speak to the board to because we want to know what you feel about our programs and our organization and how you’ve been treated. So, um, I think those things are good, and I I again think, tony, that will just energize aboard to want to do more if they feel more connected to what the organization is actually doing and not just reading about it and listening to the executive tell them about it.

[00:38:15.32] spk_0:
What about that important CEO board chair relationship that should be very collegial? It should be supportive. What what’s your advice around for? The CEO is probably mostly CEOs listening, although we do have board members listening. But probably we have more CEOs than we do board chairs. So what’s your advice there for them? Although

[00:39:07.82] spk_1:
I’ll say that probably a fair number of CEOs have actually acted in the capacity of a board chair as well and other organizations, so they may understand some of the roles from both sides. I think my advice is what you have just said, as well as to have this collegial relationship and develop one where there’s one of trust where the CEO is not afraid to go to the board and say, I’ve got some bad news. Um, I’m looking for some guidance on this. If the CEO is always about, um, my pay or my job security can be affected by telling bad news to the board chair. So I’m going to try to, uh,

[00:39:09.52] spk_0:
show hide it, make it sound, not as bad as it is not. Be completely honest, etcetera.

[00:39:26.32] spk_1:
Yeah, I think of what you know. For profit, boards of directors may say to their shareholders in public companies, Right, like you want to pose the best view of that organization as possible. I don’t think that’s a healthy relationship for nonprofit board to have its executive,

[00:39:37.42] spk_0:
and and that should be frequent communication to I mean, shouldn’t shouldn’t the CEO feel comfortable picking up the phone and seeking the advice of the board chair?

[00:40:20.31] spk_1:
I think so. And if it’s not the board chair, I I think it’s okay at times. So your board culture is going to have to allow for this, but for them to pick up the phone and talk to another board member, So I’m when I serve on the board. I’m sometimes the only lawyer on the board. I want the CEO to be able to talk to me. I’m not going to be their legal counsel, But I might have a point of view. Or I might spot an issue if they feel like, Hey, is this something we need to talk to our lawyer about? Maybe our board chair wouldn’t be able to answer that question. But maybe I would as a board member. So, yeah, I like the CEO of being able to reach out to multiple board members for for different issues. Yeah,

[00:40:48.21] spk_0:
all right. Should we should we talk about terminating board members the topic before before their time is, Do so Let’s say, you know, a three year term and they’ve been on for a year, and they’re obstreperous, lackluster, unkind. They don’t belong. Let’s just for whatever reason, they don’t belong.

[00:43:09.10] spk_1:
Sure. What do we do? Yeah, it’s a real tough one, right. So, um, sometimes you have to look at it holistically. So oftentimes I get a call and that situation will arise. But it will turn out that that board members also the biggest donor to the organization right now you’ve got to think a little more diplomatically and strategically about how to do this. Um um So again, not one size fits all But one method that some organizations have used has been to say, Let’s talk with this board member and try to find the best role for them in the organization and see if we can move them off the board but into this other role, whether it be advisory, um, or whether it be in an, uh in an honorary position for being, you know, uh, something emeritus. So give them a fancy title. Ask them to show up at fundraising events, um uh, or to to speak to two foundations when you go out with them to do a pitch, maybe that’s where their strength is. And maybe there’s enough there of their passion for the mission and for the organization and what it does. While they don’t have passion for doing the work of a director in a strategic and diplomatic way, they may still have passion for the mission of the organization. And let’s try to take advantage of that, um, and use it in a way where nobody will use sort of the Asian mentality of nobody loses face right, like so everybody gets to keep their dignity and look good. But let’s try to take advantage of not having that person be disruptive on the board anymore. And if that person isn’t giving you much of a contribution in any way, then once in a while removal is an unpleasant but sometimes necessary option. And boards may have to decide that again. Uh, they’re going to ask somebody where they’re actually going to vote to tell somebody, um, that their services as a director are no longer needed, Um, but that has to also be done diplomatically. You have to be careful of alleging reasons for doing that because that could get you involved in a defamation lawsuit from that person if they’re upset with it and litigious so carefully.

[00:43:20.20] spk_0:
So this should be something that’s in the bylaws, then removal of a board member. Yeah, you need to have a documented process.

[00:44:17.09] spk_1:
I think that’s right, tony. A lot of, um, boards have eliminated that from the bylaws because you see that as a negative. But then they would default to the code, right, and they’re not going to usually look up what the code says about removal. It has to be done in a certain way, and in some cases it can get a little bit complicated. If you have a voting membership structure like for certain charities, they might have members who actually elect their board members. It’s more common in trade associations and homeowners associations things like that. But some charities have voting members, and removal, then becomes a lot more complicated. But having it having the procedure in your bylaws at least gives you kind of like the encyclopedia. Look at how to do this properly without feeling like it’s going to be too hard. We can’t do it and just live with it.

[00:44:26.89] spk_0:
I’m not familiar with this model you just described because you and you said it’s some five oh one C threes have elected board members. So

[00:44:28.78] spk_1:

[00:44:29.71] spk_0:
so it has. The board has voted members on and can only remove them,

[00:45:22.59] spk_1:
actually the opposite way. So members elect the board members, so the members are responsible for electing and potentially removing board members. So you might think of that more in terms of like a union or a professional association or homeowners association, where all the homeowners elect the board. If they don’t like the board, they’ll remove them and put somebody else on to that board. So some charities are also structured that way. And that was to sort of been seen as a more democratic process of ensuring that the board stays responsive to what the members think. The mission is supposed to be, um, for smaller organizations. I generally don’t recommend it because it’s more costly. It’s much more difficult to manage and administer. Um, but nevertheless, I would say about 5 to 10% of the charities that we run into small charities we run into are structured that way.

[00:45:32.49] spk_0:
Not ideal, though, but they’re trying to be democratic. And

[00:45:36.99] spk_1:
that’s right.

[00:46:19.48] spk_0:
Okay, I see. All right. Well, that Yeah, that conversation to to hope that opening that conversation with the director to be removed is is hard. Maybe maybe the maybe the board member themselves themselves, uh, maybe the person. Maybe they can’t find the right pronoun. Maybe that person isn’t happy in the role either. That’s a possibility. It could be. You know, you could sort of open the conversation with it. Seems like, you know, this isn’t as you were suggesting, and I’m kind of putting a few things together. It seems like this isn’t quite the right role for you. You don’t seem happy as a board member. Uh, you know, you could open the conversation that way in trying to find something else to offer

[00:46:43.88] spk_1:
them. I think that’s a great way often to frame that that situation. I actually wrote an article for the nonprofit Quarterly. I think called something like 10 Reasons Why a director made gracefully want to resign from their organization, um, board. And so, yeah, framing it from their perspective and what they’re not getting is probably a good way to start it.

[00:46:59.58] spk_0:
I thought of something else before we wrap up. What do you think about junior boards, you know, maybe have an advisory role? There’s sort of a training improving ground for future board members, whatever you call it, might. It might just be the advisory board or something. But what do you think of that? That having, uh, that in your organization,

[00:47:26.78] spk_1:
I think you’ve done well. It works. Um, really Well, it raises potential future board members and gives you an introduction to the organization. Rather than bringing somebody straight into the board. They have a chance to be part of whatever you want to call it an advisory committee or, uh, the junior board. I would be careful with the name, depending upon who you’re planning to put on it.

[00:47:30.99] spk_0:
So junior board is not so good. All right.

[00:47:33.37] spk_1:
Unless it’s for, you know, unless you’re putting minors on it for advisory positions. Okay. Okay.

[00:47:44.08] spk_0:
But advisory, an advisory board advisory committee. And and it gets to be seen as a stepping stone for some folks to the board membership.

[00:48:04.17] spk_1:
Yeah, and to offer thought leadership from different perspectives. Um, so I think that’s good. But if you’re trying to increase diversity through an advisory border, Junior. But I would say Be very careful to make it not look like it is of less importance. And that’s why these people were put on that.

[00:48:54.37] spk_0:
Oh, yeah, right. Right. So all your yes, all your all the folks of color and other underrepresented groups are on the advisory board. Yeah, that’s well, that’s a sham. Alright, That’s right. Exactly. That’s inhumane. Alright. Yeah, I’m surprised you thought of that, Gene. You’re well. You see the good and the bad. All right, you’ve It’s not that you thought of it. You’ve seen it. You’ve seen it. I guess it’s It’s out there somewhere. All right. Thank you, Jeanne. Outstanding. Outstanding advice. Jeanne Takagi, our legal contributor. You’ll find them at nonprofit law blog dot com. You can find him at Columbia University if you’re a member of their student body in, uh, what is it? The nonprofit nonprofit management program at Columbia?

[00:49:01.07] spk_1:

[00:49:07.17] spk_0:
Okay, so you’ll find him there. You also find him at neo law group dot com and you’ll find him at G T A K at G Tech. Thank you very much, Gene.

[00:49:12.87] spk_1:
Thanks, tony. Been a pleasure.

[00:50:05.17] spk_0:
My pleasure. As always. Thanks. Next week, I’m asking you to trust me. If you missed any part of this week’s show, I beseech you find it at tony-martignetti dot com. We’re sponsored by turn to communications, PR and content for nonprofits. Your story is their mission. Turn hyphen. Two dot c o. Creative producer is Claire Meyerhoff Shows Social Media is by Susan Chavez. Mark Silverman is our web guy, and this music is by Scott Stein. Thank you for that affirmation. Scotty, you’re with me next week for nonprofit radio. Big non profit ideas for the other 95% Go out and be great. Mhm

Nonprofit Radio for January 10, 2014: Matterness & Program Your Board

Big Nonprofit Ideas for the Other 95%

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Allison Fine: Matterness

picture of Allison FineAllison Fine, co-author of “The Networked Nonprofit,” reminds us that people matter. But nonprofits often don’t show the love. What can you do to show people how important they are to your nonprofit?






Gene Takagi: Program Your Board

picture of Gene TakagiYour board probably recognizes its fiduciary responsibilities, but does it know its role in overseeing programs? Gene Takagi is our legal contributor and 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, i’m your aptly named host. Oh, i very much hope that you were with me last week. I’d be seized by acute epiglottis itis if i had to hear that you had missed in front of the media in twenty fourteen janet falk principle of fall communications and research shared what belongs in your twenty fourteen media plan on how to execute so that media pay attention to you and social sites to watch in twenty fourteen amy sample ward had the social media sites that will take off this year. She’s, our social media contributor and ceo of intend the non-profit technology network this week matter-ness allison find returns, co author of the network to non-profit she’ll remind us that people matter, but non-profits often don’t show the love. What can you do to show people how important they are to your non-profit and program? You’re bored. Your board probably recognizes its fiduciary responsibilities but doesn’t know its role in overseeing programs. Jean takagi is our legal contributor and principal of the non-profit and exempt organizations law group neo between the guests on tony’s, take two our fan of the week were brought to you by rally bound peer-to-peer fund-raising for runs, walks and rides. And by t b r c cost recovery getting your money back from phone bill errors and omissions. Very grateful for our two sponsors, allison find you should know me. Uh, hello. I didn’t give you a proper introduction yet. I was just i was just saying your name. But but hello, how are you? I’m fine. We’ve been introduced before, though way have but it was a year ago and some people may not remember there’s been a lot of shows since then. So let me let people know. Besides, you deserve you know, is it from some recognition for your work, your body of work? Because you study and write about the intersection of social media and social change. And you are the author of the award winning book momentum igniting social change in the connected age. And of course, your more recent book is the network non-profit co authored with beth cantor who’s. Been a guest on the show? Yes, allison find you also. This sounds like this is your life. I don’t know. Because usually i’m not talking to the person but that’s, the way it got set up so that’s the way it happened. Of course, you also host the monthly podcast for the chronicle of philanthropy, called social good. Um, i have one of those two, did you? I think you knew that. Sure, on twitter, you are at a fine and your site is alison fine dot com. Welcome back, allison, thanks so much for having me. Tony it’s. A pleasure. I enjoyed talking to you. Thank you. Do you still have your you don’t still have a fine blawg. What happened to a fine blanc? A fine blogging is on my website. Oh, at allison, fine dot com. Correct. Okay, very good. Okay. People matter, but non-profits don’t show it what’s your concerns around matter-ness so i’ll tell you how i stumbled on this word. Tony good. I recently completed a three year term as president of my congregation. I made it. And where was that uncertain whether you would survive your presidency? You never know in the middle of one of those things, but, you know, it was a great honor, okay? When i began in that role, i was inundated with emails of concern from congregants, and i would diligently try to answer every single one, you know, i’m i’m so sorry the doors were locked when you showed up, so sorry you didn’t get it think you know as quickly as you wanted, i’m so sorry, you know, that i would agree to do when you came in. Whatever the issue wasn’t, um am tinkering with things and trying very hard to be responses. And about a year into that role, tony, i got the ultimate email from somebody. It was a long time congregant who said she was in the hospital for the week before, and she was very upset that nobody had called her, even though she didn’t. Tell anybody she was in the oh my goodness. So i got that even i sat back and said, what in the world is going on here? There’s some other stuff. She must have some other. This this doesn’t make any sense at all. And then going back through the other complaints, i saw this pattern and the pattern was right across the board, which wass i joined here because i wanted to belong to be a part of something important to may and whatever you have just done has made me feel like i don’t matter at all. All right. I thought i was important. I thought i counted. I thought you cared about me and what you just did show me that you don’t. And it takes a lot of work to undo that hurt for people, you know, feeling like they’re insignificant. Tony is not a an insignificant problem for any organization, any business, much less social service or human or research organization. Uh, because it really hits to the core of people. We all want a matter somewhere. Alison let’s. Just make sure that everyone understands the congregation is ah, this is a jewish congregation. Is a jewish temple synagogue human-centered new york. Okay, okay, just making sure that you understand. It’s it’s, it’s we’re talking about religion and faith based on dh because that may have special meaning for the for the members they may they may hold you to ah hyre standard than they would be average charity that they’re they’re affiliated with. I think there certainly is, you know, a depth of feeling on the part of a lot of people when you join a religious congregation. But when i went, i went on to facebook and then i asked people win when have you felt in your life? Like you don’t matter to an organization or company and got a whole slew of responses. Tony of i don’t matter when i’ve asked the organisation changed my name on appeals and it doesn’t get changed. You know, i don’t matter when i make a contribution and instead of a thank you note, the next thing i get us, another asked for a contribution, right? I don’t matter when i go to the gala of the organization and don’t get greeted by anybody. It was an across the board feeling of i am trying. To contribute somewhere this is, you know, very particular to causes on non-profits i care about a cause, and i feel like i’m a cog in a great big direct mail machines, yeah, technology and our fast paced work lives and personal lives, these things cut both ways. I mean, there are efficiencies and productivity that are important, but we have to treat people like they matter is right. I mean, we’re we’re going to come out in this, so this is this is a cutting edge, you know, the two side of that coin of technology on the one hand, right? It can make the wheels turn very quickly. On the other hand, it could make us all feel like we are, you know, far on the outside. What happens with organizations, tony, is that they become enamored of efficiency internally, right there is the the mantra of daily work is basically, how quickly can i finish my to do list? We’re trying to cross things off my to do list, which is never ending. You know how it would make a great progress. That’s, right? Yeah. There’s. Always things added. Yeah. Oh, it’s. Not like that. And i got one in my heart, you know, goes out i go and see non-profit folks who have pages and pages of to do list and what they become it is what i call they become inside out organizations they view the world from inside this, you know, little case of trying frantically to get all of these things done because they’re always under resourced. And in that doing in that drive to try to make some progress on the to do list, they forget that they’re actually individuals out there. So we we engage on a transactional level rather than a personal relationship type level, right? And so what happens is you begin to view the world in in buckets, you know, you hear organizations oh, all the time, tony, talking about buckets of people right here are our empty nesters, and over here are people who live in this part of the city and over here are direct male donors, constituents way to manage the work, to try to organize people and in some kind of cluster that way constituent groups, constituent groups, right? I don’t like that. One day you are a constituent. Ah group like that you’re not a person anymore. Yeah, this is this is interesting. Well, it’s, interesting, because we’re you’re giving thought to something that on dh voice, to something that i think a lot of people feel dahna it’s, also just very topical for timely ideas, i should say for me. Yeah, there’s just there’s been some guests who have been encouraging us to humanize the world the way from the perspective that day that they bring to the show. Whether that’s, the example i’m thinking of off immediately is ah, instead of calling people prospects, you know, potential donor ours, but the prospect, you know, prospect research that’s the one that just comes off my head. But it’s very interesting. You’re you’re a bit of an anarchist, you know that? Oh, yeah, thank you. I appreciate that you’re a troublemaker. You sister told you i’m a pot stirrer, tony. Their pots out there to be stirred. Your pot stirrer. Okay, i like anarchist plot stars that same. Okay, you know why? Because somebody has to remind organizations that have become too enamored of systems too enamored of, you know, paradigms and all of that stuff that at the end of the day, it all boils down to people, right? And if you’re making people feel like they’re only value, teo is the check that they could write or have written, uh, that’s. A terrible way to do your work to meet your mission. It will. You know, you might the financially better off you will not. Your soul will not be fulfilled. Your work will not be fulfilled that way. But even financially in the long term, i think you’re going to suffer. We have to. We have to. It kills me, but we can’t take a little break. We’re definitely coming back. I’m already regretting that alison fine is not with me for the full hour this time. Not not that, not that are not that gene takagi is a crummy guest gene gene, maybe listening. Is anybody from california, san francisco, but he could be traveling. I don’t see him in san francisco listening right now, but gina, i love you, too. I do love you. I’m just we’ll have to have allison back, okay, let’s, take this break and we’ll come right back. I didn’t think that shooting. Good ending. You’re listening to the talking alternate network, waiting to get a drink. Cubine 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 consultant so we pay attention to the details. You may miss our culture and consultant services a 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 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 huntress people be better business people. You’re listening to the talking alternative network. Latto welcome back to big non-profit ideas for the other ninety five percent time for live listener love we got kendall park, new jersey, seattle, washington, irvine, california, new bern, north carolina live listener love to you, you matter, but, you know we do live listen love all the time, and everybody knows that not just because alison fine is reminding us that people matter live listener love is all the time podcast pleasantries, of course, if you’re listening in the time shift, i love you, too. We’ve got the netherlands, we’ve got inchon, korea and seoul, korea on your haserot for our korean listeners and there’s more live listener love coming, lots more live listener live listeners out there. And allison friend of yours, i guess maybe on twitter. Jennifer flowers says that she wishes you were on for the full hour. Also that way. Thank her for me, jennifer. Alison says thank you. You just think to yourself, but you’ll come back of course, right. Absolutely way. Love you on non-profit radio. Um okay. So where this this process orientation? This? Yeah, right. I mean, it’s a turn process? Yeah, but okay, so we have to strike the balance. Yeah. Okay. This is very hard, you know, you make this is this love that you were talking about this. You make people want toe, take a step back, you make people take a step back and want to be better in there. I think day two day relationships, not not just only in their non-profit roll, but i think just day to day i i admire that. I admire that. You you think these thoughts? Well, i think the key tony is trying to remind people and help them to figure out how to make relationship building primary in their work life and their whole life, right? Because it is so overwhelming life right now, there’s so much information were clicking and tweeting and picking and poking and all of those things. But what doesn’t change is our need to connect with people personally on the need to be connected in really meaningful ways. And so i take it as my responsibility to keep reminding people of that that you can use this technology technology that can potential like next to you with hundreds, thousands, millions of people. But at the end of the day, i hope you’ve touched one person in a meaningful way, sametz oppcoll let’s get into some detailed ideas that you have about being able to go about doing this better. Yeah, so one of the things that organizations particular non-profit organizations don’t do well, tony, if they don’t tell stories well, uh, which is astounding because their work is so important and so good. Ah, and yet when they tell stories, they tend to do it again inside out, they do it about the process of something, you know, people showed up less thirty two people showed up last tuesday night for a movie night, and it was fabulous on we made fifteen hundred dollars, fifteen hundred dollars, and we had cookies out, right? Right? Or a testimonial, right if they asked someone else’s falik it’s about how this is the best organization in the entire world, hands down and what they’re missing is an opportunity to enable the people who were touched by their work to talk about what it meant to them. Oh, and we have all the tools to do that they could do a one minute youtube video, right that when i came to this singles program, i wasn’t alone. For the first time, i didn’t feel alone, right? That is so much more powerful than you know, the singles program is the top ranked blah, blah, blah, you know, in the metro area, which doesn’t mean anything to anybody, but you talk about touching people in a way that they don’t longer feel lonely. Wow, now you really have something, right? Everybody has what i call up these iconic stories buried within their organization and it’s the job of everybody in the organization, not just staff, but bored and volunteers as well to try to look for them. So, for instance, if we are a let’s, say we’re ah, a school on we might even be devoted to the catholic education tradition because i believe there’s such a school that may be listening in in westchester. Actually, we might empower the students. Teo do ah video with their phones. You can absolutely do a video and talk about how does it feel to them to go to this school? Right? What makes it different? A lot of kids who come teo religious education. Where in secular schools first, this difference, it feels different should feel different. Uh, what does? It mean to be connected to the teachers here? How do you feel about your classmates? Do you feel like people care about you here? And e? I don’t want to hear that from principals and teachers and parents. I want to hear that from kids, right? Yes, and they’re right there and they have all of these tools, he’s said. To be far better storytellers than kids twenty years ago could have been please we have. We have recording studios in our pockets, it’s, exactly right, everybody pull out your phone and tell us one thing that makes you feel good about being here. I love it, yeah, yeah, yeah, okay, yes, of course the technology is empowering. Yeah, this is the asking for testimonials, that’s true, you know, jeez, you’re touching me. You’re killing me. You know i love you and i hate you at the same time. You’re annoying the hell out of me, but you’re not even married to me, tony. You’re close enough, you just in westchester. I feel it anyway. No, you know, i hate it because you’re making me want to do things differently. You know how annoying that is, it’s it’s not so far away from where people are right it’s changing the lens, right? It’s saying we have to stop just talking about us as an institution and start talking about us as people who are engaged here, right? How does it feel to be touched by us to be touched with us? To be part of this, um, effort, i’ve talked often with people who are running addiction programs or mental health programs, and obviously they aren’t going to talk about individual clients without their permission. But i say perhaps there are parents ah, in your community, uh, who could be asked to talk about what it meant to you to find a safe place for your child, even if you don’t use their real name, right? Thinking about how powerful that is, tony. Finally find someplace that cared as much about your child and your child difficulties as you did that’s the place i would want to take my kid not not, not the place that has the latest drugs are the most, you know, mds on staff. It could be enormously touching and and informative at the same time. Yeah. What jury is just one part? Okay. Yeah, i know. What’s what’s, what’s something else. You know, i like to leave listeners with things they can think about and execute. Right? So we need to take a good, hard look at the social media communities we are building. I know that. You know, amy sample ward is your regular social media guru. Rest as she should be because she’s fabulous. I know she speaks about this as well. But thie idea tony isn’t just about the flashy numbers, right? I can’t tell you how many times have been in board rooms of the past two three years and listen to the recitation of social media, transactional numbers and everybody fantastic. Ten percent up on likes on face. The vanity metrics knew i was missing a phrase it right? We’re all all the bells and whistles, and it means nothing, right? So everybody in an organization one i hope that they are using the channels and that the organization is comfortable with lots of people speaking about the work, um, and to the people, are learning to become calm, rotational on the channels. That’s, a big jump organization, right? So we’re so again, we’re back to like testimonials. But the default setting in organization is to talk about your organization to people out there. So you’re just using social media is a great big billboard and losing all the power of the conversational ism of the tools that make them so powerful, that that’s, why they’re ubiquitous, because you can talk and somebody conduct back to you. I love twitter for that. I have i’d say i have the most fun on twitter talking toa listeners. Yeah, yeah, i love i love love love twitter, right? So you can you can engage with people you can feel like you’re having a conversation and when you do that, tony, when you move from billboard to conversation, what happens is other people who are watching and most people are lurking and watching, not engaging, which is fine, but they can see and experience how you think about and treat people that’s really important. I sent tweets sometimes, and i feel a chill or i or my my eyes get watery because someone has told me how much they you know, usually it’s tze not much more, much deeper than love love non-profit radio loved the show, thanks for doing what you’re doing, you know? And i’m sending back gratitude and thank you so much appreciate that and i’ve gotten away from saying, check us out on facebook trying stop doing that and just be gracious but and grateful and just and stopped there with just gratitude, but sometimes, you know, i click that send and i really i feel like i feel something physical in my body that really the marrow eyes were getting a little water here. I feel a chill going through me thie emotions we have when we’re connecting with people anywhere, it doesn’t matter what the vehicle is our real right we are there, you know, emotionally, um, reaching out and feeling the love from somebody organization see to do two things in their engagement’s much better. They need to be much more gracious in there thinking a cz you were just saying and just they need to thank a thousand times more than they do you know that the churning out the thank you letter it’s just not good enough. Why not take to the channels and every day just think a donor on the child’s right for a modest gift, right? You could take the channels and thanks sally smith in missouri for the eighteen dollars, contribution, we are so grateful to have her support and other people are watching you be grateful. That’s. One thing and that’s the easier one hears the hard won. He ready, tony? Yes. We’re all buckled up. Ready for the hard one. You’re already pissing me off. Go ahead. No, no it’s going to get worse. Part one is taking a problem to the channels and asking people to help you solve it so we’ve heard from people that they’re tired of getting four uh fund-raising requests a month from us now we are trying to meet our budgetary demands. Here are our annual budget and to date that’s been our best strategy for doing that? Help us sell the problem. What do we need to do differently to one make you feel like he really matter and you’re not just an atm machine, but two to help us solve our financial problems, help us figure it out. I worked with one organization that had to get rid of that got rid of their snail mail news monthly newsletter, which fourteen thousand dollars a year they couldn’t afford it anymore, and they began to hear from people that they missed it. You know that getting an email with a pds and it just wasn’t the same thing, and they had the courage to take it to their face, the group and they help us solve the problem, and a donor came through and gave them a donation hopefully will continue to in the future. But it wasn’t about the donation it’s about the stop looking like you have everything perfectly down pat because you don’t and start engaging your people in real problem solving on twitter. Lynette singleton is with us using the hashtag non-profit radio, and she says that clark howard once labeled customer complaints as free many customers satisfaction surveys it’s related to what you’re saying, people are when people are communicating, they’re doing it for a reason. They they’re they’re sharing their feelings about what you’re doing that’s, right? If they didn’t love you, tony, they wouldn’t bother complaining. We wouldn’t tell you they just right they would they would just go away, right? And your job is to say, if somebody complains about something it’s likely somebody else has the same complaint and just didn’t make it. So what is the possible harm of going out and saying we heard about a problem and way need your help, your input? I think organisations particularly non-profits work way too hard to try to look perfect, tony and i think it’s to their disadvantage to continue to do that. I think that’s absolutely true, they don’t want to reveal that they’re having trouble with the budget as you mentioned, or maybe staffing or maybe volunteer revels or maybe the facebook pages not engaging i don’t mean just metric i don’t just mean numerically, but really engaging wise and they don’t want they don’t want anybody to know it that’s, exactly right and pretending that you’re not having problems. It’s just keeping people at a great distance. We have just a couple of minutes left. Damn, um okay, so all right, don’t be afraid to ask the questions of the of your community, of your of your folks. All right? Can we leave people with one more idea before we have to go? Uh, so one more idea, it’s more of a concept than an idea. Tony, is this concept i’ve been writing about this year working on a book on this called big small towns, and the idea is that everybody is physically, geographically located somewhere. We’re all living on land somewhere, and we will for the foreseeable future, going to school and going to work and go into the doctor. But at the same time, we’re also citizens of communities on online, and these aren’t separate dichotomous places. These are integrated places. Write that i will go online, get an idea, bring it down to the ground and work on it or ask a question or meet somebody and in the totality of it, it’s one really big small town, really, really big, small town, and when we begin to think about that integrated on line on land ecosystems, i think it begins to enable us to see a great world of abundance out there, that we don’t always see that we can go to people for help with ideas of capital for volunteers, for a whole bunch of things online that can enormously benefit are on land communities. So i just want to really share that with people that i hope that they can begin to see the world through that kind of lens in the near future. Allison, find magnificent you’re pissing me off, you make me want to be better and i love you love you too, tony. Ok, al, you find her and alison find dot com on twitter she’s at a fine if you’re not following alison on twitter it’s your life, you know what can i say? We’re going to finish, we’re gonna continue this we’re gonna have ahh matter-ness part do re ducks s o i will be in touch, allison or no pleasure. Thank you so much, tony. Thank you. Lynette singleton. Thank you for participating the conversation. Uh, thank you for that one that thank you very much. Other people i need to thank. Rally bound. They are a sponsor of this show. You know, without sponsors, bringing the show is ah, is a lot more difficult than it needs to be. Um, a conversation like this? Um, yeah. I’m grateful to rally bound. They are. Ah, peer-to-peer fund-raising software company it’s friends asking friends to give to your cause a za non-profit radio listener, you will get a discount on rally bounds campaign platform people have been calling already. That’s very cool. I love that. I’m glad. Um really bound helped a camp. It was the first time doing peer-to-peer fund-raising the camp raised nine thousand dollars and got one hundred eighty four percent of its goal. You’ll find them at rally bound dot com or just pick up the phone and call joe magee at rally bound. He’ll answer your questions and he’s gonna help you set up your campaign. I know, joe. Um and i know he’s. Not gonna pressure you. They don’t, they don’t. He doesn’t have to rally bound dot com or triple eight seven, six, seven, nine o seven six i also want to thank and i am thanking t brc cost recovery telephone bill reduction consulting yourself, rabinowitz he goes over your past phone bills, he’s looking for errors, mistakes, services you didn’t order ninety percent of the time he finds a problem, and when he does, he picks up the phone and deals with the phone company to get you money back. If he doesn’t get the money back, then you don’t pay him. I’ve referred yourself many times, and he is also no pressure team drc dot com or two one, two, six double four nine triple xero fan of the week at lays right on twitter it’s, lazy w r i g h t she’s in indiana, she’s in the cornfields of indiana, she loves non-profit radio, a runner and a knitter. Who’s your girl non-profit radio loves you back at lease, right? Thank you so much. If you’d like to be a fan of the show, i’d love to talk about you. Uh, talk to me on twitter or facebook there’s so much. Live listen, love here. I can’t i can’t stand it. Harrison new york east orange, new jersey, san francisco, california. Well, that’s probably. Gene takagi, los alamos, new mexico. Cedar knolls, new jersey. Chung ching, china. Ni hao. Cas ou guy, japan. I apologize if i pronounced it wrong. But, you know, live listener. Love is going out to you in japan. Konnichiwa. Um, goodness, i think that’s tony’s take two for friday, the tenth of january second show of the year. Sam is frantically handing me notes. Huntington station, new york. Welcome where you’ve been. You checking in late. Better late than never, i suppose. But you should have been here a half an hour ago. Huntington station. Now live. Listen. Who loved to hunting the station? New york, of course. Jean takagi he’s, a principal of neo, the non-profit and exempt organizations law group in san francisco. Gene has been gene has been a regular contributor to show it’s got to be going on three years. Gina i if it’s not three it’s very close. He had it’s, the non popular, that the non popular beautiful he had it’s the popular non-profit law blawg dot com non-profit law. Blogged dot com it’s very popular. And on twitter he’s at gee tak gt happy new year jean takagi. Welcome back. Happy new year. Tony it’s. Great to be on. Thank you. I love having you. How long have you been a contributor? Every month, i think it’s been a little over three years. That is it. Is it over three love make it could be i think we met three years ago at a bar in san francisco. If i remember, right? Oh, for sure. It’s not like we picked up up there where i knew you before. I’m not that easy with contributors. I mean, yes, we we knew each other. And then we certainly did meet that’s, right? With along with emily chan? Yes. That’s. Right. Um, let’s see, our board has our board has some responsibilities and around program you’re concerned that they’re not they’re not fulfilling those responsibilities. Yeah, i just feel like there’s there’s maybe some, uh, lack of attention paid on the boards roll on program oversight? I think so often went, especially when you talk with lawyers or accountants were talking about financial oversight, and we’re saying we’ll make sure you’re solvent. Make sure you have enough money to pay off your debts, they become due. We don’t really talk very much about programs, but certainly the management folks and the funders air talking about programs and whether they’re effective and efficient, that furthering the mission. So, you know, i thought we should explore a little bit about what the board duties are in in that event as well. Can you just remind us first, we’ve talked about this a while ago. There are three duties that board members have. I was faith, hope and chastity, or on the greatest of those is but yeah, the three duties are the duty of care and that’s act with reasonable care in providing direction and oversight over the organization, the duty of loyalty, and a lot of that has to do with avoiding conflicts of interests that are not in the best interest of the organizations, but are more for the best interests of an insider and the duty of obedience which lawyers air very interested in, and that’s a bang with both the outside laws of, you know, that apply to the organization and the internal laws like the by-laws and other policies. That the documents may have said, those are the three to be to be concerned with, ok and and around program program is essential. Man. That’s what charity’s exist for his programs? Oh, my voice just cracked like i’m a fourteen year old exist. That’s exciting stuff. Now that it is, it is that’s. Right? Well, you make it interesting. That’s. Why? I love having you back. You make the what could very well be a dry topic. I think you make it interesting. And listeners do too. Yeah. That’s. What charity? They’re here it’s for a program. Yeah, exactly. I mean, who cares? The indie at the end of the day, if we’ve got great financials, if none of our programs are effective and we don’t do a service to the community precisely. So what? What do we need to be doing? What the board’s need to be doing around around program? Well, i think in meeting those three duties, the critical aspect for boards to make sure they’re reasonably informed. Ah, and just get a program report every month or every two months. You know, a ten minute program report from the executive director or program director is fine and good. But does that mean the board really understands the programs and whether the advance the mission? Ah, and do they understand how the program’s advance emission? And did they ever ask you more difficult questions about are the programs effective at advancing the mission? Or do we have alternatives? Or should we think of alternatives that might be able to advance that mission mohr effectively or more efficiently, given the limited resources that we all have? First up in this is and we have talked about this. Your mission needs to be very clear. Yeah, and one of the things you have to do is make sure you go back. And this is the lawyer speaking. Make sure you go back to your articles of incorporation and by-laws and make sure that the mission statement that years thinking you’re thatyou’re furthering is consistent with what the law says. Your mission is. And that’s that’s how it’s displayed on the governing documents and in figuring out whether we are effective at meeting our mission. Now we’ve gotto identify cem numbers, right? I mean, it’s not just gonna be a ten minute report from the program director we’ve got to be looking at some numbers to figure out whether our we’re having the outcomes that we want, right and it’s such a such a difficult question and that’s, why it’s it’s all about keeping informed? Because, you know, the whole area program evaluation and back cantor and and a lot of institutions like the stanford center on philanthropy, in civil society and mckinsey and, you know, the non-profit cordially foundations, and they all have been writing all sorts of things on program evaluation and how we need more metrics and, you know, but all of that is great, but this is really hard stuff for a lot of non-profits to do so, yes, trying to figure out what what measurements are are important for us to figure out. Are we advancing our mission effectively? And then are we advancing it efficiently is really hard stuff, i think tip typically non-profits will, you know, measure how much money we’ve raised, how many visitors we’ve had or people with served, how many members we have, what is our overhead ratio on? We’ve had discussions on that topic as well, and, you know, those are interesting figures in all important, and i don’t want to downplay that. But what about you know, then, you know, the number of clients served. For example, does that really tell us what impact that’s done? No, before the clients. And you know, the program staff may know that. But how does the board know that if we have? If we served a thousand clients last month, did we did we serve them by giving them one meal? Did that change their lives? Did we do more than that? Did we provide services? What? What and impact are we trying to aim for? And what results are we getting those air really difficult things to try to figure out. But i think the board needs to push the organization in that direction. Of trying to figure out are the programs that write programs? Are we effectively implementing it? And if you want to, you know, evaluate your executive and evaluate your programs. You’ve gotta have a good understanding of that. I feel your passion around this, jean. I really do. It comes it’s it’s palpable. Now, in managing these programs. It’s, not the board’s roll. Teo, be day to day. There’s clearly there’s a delegation that has durney happening? Yeah, absolutely. And and the board certainly has the ability, teo, and should be delegating if they have staff in an executive director, particularly delegating those duties on those people. And especially, you know, holding the executive accountable and tasking executive and making sure the executive has resources to be able to do this, to try to figure out what measurements should we take? Teo, evaluate our programs. What what’s important? What do we have the capacity to do now? And what? What do we aspire to do? What are outside stakeholders wanting? What are the foundations saying we must have? And what are the donor’s expecting from us and how to our competitors provide that type of information back? I think we just need to push. Our executives were lucky enough to have them to figure some of those things out. And none of this has done overnight. Of course, tony, but you know, you you’ve gotto work at this, and sometimes you’re going to move forward, and sometimes you gotta move backwards. But you’ve got to keep pushing, pushing ahead. You just asked five or six really difficult but critical questions. Um, it’s a good thing. This is a podcast. Cause. Now people can listen. Go, go back to the past one minute and listen to those five or six questions. Jean just just named, you know, difficulty, but, but but critical. And and yet the board’s oversight responsibility remains and that can’t be delegated. That’s, right? So you know, the board, khun delegate management, but the board can’t delegate its ultimate oversight of the organization and it’s, you know, it’s responsibility to plan the direction of the organization. So status quo, if you know if that’s all you’re satisfied with and you don’t aim to do anything else with that, you know, that may not that may indicate that you don’t have the best board in place, and i was a little shocked teo learned, i think two days ago guidestar held a web cast, and there was a survey done of executive directors, and seventy five percent said they were unhappy with their boards and there’s a big disconnect there. Seventy five percent proof. Okay, what else? What else, uh, is part of the boards oversight of program? Gene? Well, you know, one thing i kind of want to emphasize as well is that i don’t want to put all of this on the board of directors, and i realized that the vast majority of board members are volunteers and have busy lives otherwise and are doing an amazing job. Trying to contribute to their organizations, the disconnect with the exec director is usually because of communications and a lack of understanding of their respective roles. So i just want to put a little bit of a burden on the executive director as well, to make sure that they are emphasizing board development and helping the board understand its responsibilities and sometimes bringing in experts, even though they may cost a little at the outset. Khun b really valuable to an organisation to try to figure out what these roles are, and again put in a little investment up front, and you can get payoff down the road even if you have some failures along the way. But it’s just that continuing to push forward to trying to understand what you’re doing who’s responsible for what? On figuring that stuff out the metrics themselves again. Our khun b, you know, exceedingly difficult if if i asked you give us metrics on changing laws when we were fighting for civil rights. Um, well, that might take years or decades to get any measurable results per se that might make a thunder happy. And you know what would have happened in the early sixties, you know, civil rights organizations just had their program shut down because boards didn’t get the right metrics that would have been ridiculous, right? So we have to understand the limitation of these measurements as well, but continue to try to figure out what important steps or bench marks were shooting for and what’s important to do, even if we don’t get the metrics on and make sure our funders and donors and stakeholders understand those limitations as well, just a minute or so before before breaking what? What kind of expert would help us with this? What would we search for? Well, there there are some consultants out there who specialize in program evaluation, and there there are definitely resource is out there. I have named a few organizations already, but let me give you a few more the foundation centre and they’re grantspace website has got some excellent resource is on program evaluation, the national council of non-profits also has some excellent resources. They’re they’re definitely resource is out there, and if you look for non-profit consultants who got program evaluation expertise, i think that can be a starting place. This is also a ripe area. For collaboration amongst organizations that are serving similar populations, or have similar missions. To try to meet together and talked about how they’re measuring, you know, their program, results and what would work for maybe, you know, across the sub sector that that they’re serving, all of those things are really important. I think again, executive leadership is really important to get the board in motion, but the board also has to hold the executive responsible for making sure that happens as well. Let’s, take a break. Gene and i, of course, will keep talking about the board’s responsibility around program and the executive director’s, too. Lynette singleton and at lays, right. Thank you for thank you very much. For those very, very kind thoughts on twitter. Hang in there. You’re listening to the talking alternative network. Duitz 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 monty taylor. Dot com. 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. We look forward to serving you. Talking alternative radio twenty four hours a day. 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. More live listener love junction china ni hao, the netherlands gary indiana the home of christmas story, right? I’m pretty sure a christmas story that movie took place in gary, indiana live listen, i’d love to gary, indiana, and we’ve got a couple checking in from japan, hiroshima and kobe konnichi wa, farmington, michigan live listener love out to you. We have a question from twitter jean very loyal listener lynette singleton asks, do we know why there’s this lack of love between executive directors with and their boards, any ideas what’s contributing to that? I think i’m sorry, tony, that i think there are a number of factors that make be contributing to that, but i think the first is lack of understanding of the rules that each place and then it’s it’s a matter of communication between the two parties, there are great expectations that that board’s place on executives and the reliance on the executives tio teo, make do with limited resources to produce amazing results, and that can sometimes be a very heavy burden on the executive without a lot of support from the board and exactly what the board’s role is in supporting the executive. Director’s also, i think there many areas where there’s a lack of agreement or understanding between those roles and, you know, fund-raising is actually one of the areas of of ex, actually, some controversy, i think, you know, is the board involved is the board’s role to raise funds for the organisation. From a legal perspective, i might answer no to some extent, from a more operational perspective, i would say, of course, it is so there’s, different considerations, and that was a charity navigator to study, right? I’m not sure. I thought you said i’d start with. I’m sorry, the organization that did the webinar. Okay, okay, god start. Pardon me. Ok wave talking, talking about program meeting the mission, but there’s also legal requirements around program as well. Sure, and then the board should make sure that the executive is ensuring that the program is in compliance with whatever applicable laws might be there, whether it have to do with the facility of the organization or the employees and volunteers working for it, their basic risk management steps that they may want to take a swell, including ensuring that there’s proper insurance for whatever activities are are involved. Obviously, if you’re doing a summer day camp involving rope climbing and like that that’s going to be a little bit more significant in terms of risk management than if you’re just doing administrative work, lots of legal compliance, things, licensing, permitting and in all of those things as well, can boardmember sze be personally liable if laws are being broken and that’s why we have directors and officers insurance, isn’t it? Yeah, part partly why we have that it’s usually, you know, if there’s some sort of negligence involved when the boardmember acting not as a boardmember but as a volunteer for a program, then you’re probably looking at commercial general. Liability insurance to protect against, you know, somebody slip and fall and blaming the volunteer who was right supposed to set it up on the board members, directors and officers. Insurance will really protect against decisions that the board made that ultimately, you know, in hindsight, we’re negligent or grossly negligent, and, you know, if they decided to hold a program in involved involving bungee jumping with six year olds and without adequate supervision that, you know, that would be be a type of negligence that could get boardmember personally liable for something like that. But volunteermatch boardmember czar really, really, really rarely held personally liable absent some sort of malfeasance or self dealing benefit themselves. Okay, i’ve seen some six year olds on the subway that i wouldn’t mind having participating that that bungee jumping off a cliff i could i could give them a little shove to get them started, but not not kids. I know nobody related to me, only only what’s people have seen some hype it that it go well, now they’re real. I’ve seen him in the subway. I just don’t know who they are. I can’t name them, but i could point them. Out easily. Probably on my way home, i’ll encounter a few. Um, what else should we be thinking about? You know, your get before i asked before we do that, you’re an anarchist. Also, you’re making us. I got two troublemakers on the show today. You are making us ask questions that are very difficult, but but critical? Yeah. You know, e think of lawyers and consultants more broadly. That’s what? What we do, we can implement the changes that we talked about, what we want to raise the questions because we want boards and executives to really be thinking about these things and discussing them. And that’ll help break down the barriers and the misunderstandings and hopefully make more executive directors feel that their boards air great, make more executive, make more boards feel that their executive directors are doing a great job as well. As i said, i feel your passion around this. We have just about two minutes. You have another thought around this? Yeah. You know, just tio, make sure that again and i’ve talked a little bit about this is that there are limitations to what metrics can provide to an organization and some things. Just take a really long time to figure out research i mentioned lobbying on civil rights issues is one example, but research as well, you know, for gonna engage in research of a new right and how it’s going to work or developing a new medical device or drug that’s going to be beneficial to developing nations and the people there who might not have the resources to be able to afford these things. We’ve got to be a little bit experimental, and i know you know, there’s been preaching to the choir about embracing failure and sharing it so we can learn in advance, but that really is something that i’ll echo as well, that, you know, we’re going to get metrics and sometimes the metrics they’re going to show we failed, but if we never fail, that means we’ve never really pushed the envelope of making a more substantial change, and we’re just sort of, you know, relying on making little incremental changes, and we have to think about our organizations and say, are we the type of organization that just wants to stay status quo? Do we want to make little tiny, incremental changes year by year? Or do we actually want to look at solving or advancing our mission in a really big way and actually take some risk and then find some programs out there that might be more risky and that might fail and help educate our funders and our donors and our supporters that you have this is what we’re doing, and not everything is going to work, but this is the way to advance, you know, our cause lawyer with a heart jing jing takagi really so grateful that you’re contributing to the show? Jean, thank you so much. Thank you, johnny. And thanks for basing this serious subject may that’s alright, uh, we have a little fun with it. You’re an anarchist is no question you’ll find jean at non-profit law blogged dot com that’s the block that he had it and he’s at g tack on twitter. Thank you again, jean, thanks so much. Next week, female financial literacy alice march returns and personal financial planner sheila walker. Hartwell is with her. Wow, what a show today! Really? I’m just i’m moved. Damn! I love doing this show. Um, about two female financial literacy women need to get up to speed in professional and personal money issues and what’s public on private companies are prospect research contributor maria simple. The prospect finder has tips aplenty for doing your research on privately held companies. Please remember rally bound in your thoughts and telephone bill reduction consulting also tb rc they’re helping to bring the show to you. Valley bound dot com and tb r si dot com. Our creative producer is claire meyerhoff. Sam liebowitz is our line producer. The show’s social media is by deborah askanase of community organizer two point oh, and the remote producer of tony martignetti non-profit radio is john federico of the new rules. We’re gonna be doing a remote more about that next week. A pretty prominent remote and it’s going to live streamed. 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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 going 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 talking alt-right network at www. Dot talking alternative dot com, now broadcasting twenty four hours a day. 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. 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 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. Talking. Hyre

Nonprofit Radio for August 9, 2013: Get the Best Out of Your Board & Back To Board Basics II

Big Nonprofit Ideas for the Other 95%

Listen live or archive:

My Guests:

Allison Chernow, Terry Billie & Holly Bellows:  Get the Best Out of Your Board

Interviewing (L to R): Allison Chernow,Terry Billie & Holly Bellows at Fundraising Day New York 2013


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

picture of Gene TakagiGene 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. Listen each week you can reach me on the block or on twitter or facebook if you want to talk about sponsoring the show, our creative producer was clear meyerhoff sam liebowitz is the line producer. The show’s social media is by deborah askanase of community organizer two point oh, and the remote producer of tony martignetti non-profit radio is john federico of the new rules. Oh, i hope you will be with me next week, friday. One to two eastern at talking alternative broadcasting at talking alternative dot com miree i didn’t think that shooting a good ending. You’re listening to the talking alternative network. Get in. E-giving cubine are you a female entrepreneur? Ready to break through? Join us at sexy body sassy sol, where women are empowered to ask one received what they truly want in love, life and business. Tune in thursday said. Known eastern time to learn timpson. Juicy secrets from inspiring women and men who, there to define their success, get inspired, stay motivated and defying your version of giant success with sexy body sake. Soul. Every thursday ad, men in new york times on talking alternative dot com. 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. We look forward to serving you. You’re listening to talking alt-right 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 friday’s 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? Could they be better at dealing with confrontation conflicts, touchy subjects all are covered here at improving communications. 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