29 December 2007

Building good relationships with your board

Welcome back!

In the Coalitions Online Newsletter, Larry Hermen, long-time expert on senior management development, points out that the old way of thinking that a CEO's relationship with the board chairperson may not be a good substitute for relating well to the whole board. This is, in my opinion and the opinion of the writer (click on the title of this post to read the whole article), consistent with the Policy Governance principle of the whole board being responsible for its activities, outputs and job products. His article is short and worth a couple of minutes to read.

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Governance responsibilities and job outputs

Welcome back! [originally published 2005]

Most descriptions or list of governance responsibilities include activities. In Policy Governance the emphasis is on job outputs.

These board products are the unique job contribution of the board and are undelegable. The board cannot responsibly govern without accomplishing this list of job products.*
  1. The board's first direct product is the organization's linkage to the ownership. The board acts in trusteeship for someone, usually a group, as the "ownership", and serves as the legitimizing connection between this base and the organization.
  2. The board's second direct product is explicit governing policies. The board has the obligation to fulfill fiduciary responsibility, guard against undue risk, determine program priorities, and generally direct organization activities
  3. The board's third direct product is assurance of organizational performance. Once the board has explicitly stated its values as policy, it must ensure that the staff faithfully serves these.
There are other optional, delegable outputs. These include: Fund raising, public image, legislative impact, etc.

What kind of activities are required for a board to accomplish these outputs?

* Derived from the writings for John Carver and Miriam Mayhew Carver

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13 December 2007

Board Governance Class at the Center for Nonprofit Management

Welcome back!

I will be teaching a workshop on board governance: "Board Development and Governance Process" on Thursday, January 17, 2 PM until 5 PM at the Center for Nonprofit Management, 1000 N. Alameda, Suite 250, Los Angeles, CA 90012. Registration and a fee is required and can be submitted by fax or mail.

NOTE: if you receive Nonprofit Directions from the Center for Nonprofit Management the correct start time is 2 PM. 2 AM is an error.

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05 December 2007

New IRS Compliance Requirement for Small Nonprofits

Starting January 1, 2008, all public charities, regardless of size, are required to file with the IRS. For organizations that do not currently file a “regular” Form 990 because their annual revenues are normally less than $25,000, there is a new, simple online form (Form 990-N) that must be filed. The new form asks a few basic questions about the organization, such as name, mailing address, website address, EIN, name and address of an officer, fiscal year, size of budget, and whether or not the organization is still active. Unfortunately, the form is not available yet because the IRS is still finalizing the online system.
The form must be filed 4 1/2 months after the close of an organization’s fiscal year. Failure to file the form for three consecutive years will result in termination of an organization’s tax exemption. To reinstate tax-exempt status, an organization must reapply (and pay a hefty “user fee”) and provide a good reason why it did not file earlier.
For more information, visit the IRS web site. Keep up-to-date with all IRS charity and exempt organization issues on their website here.

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03 December 2007

Recommended reading for board members

Welcome back!

For a quick introduction to the basics of Policy Governance(r), I suggest this 24 page booklet. It distills it all into 10 principles. It's worth a read even if you've read Boards the Make a Difference. I recommend this one for everyone who serves on a Policy Governance board.

For the next step the basic textbook for an in-depth treatment of Policy Governance is this:

Later, I'll write my own book.

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02 December 2007

$1.2 million to aid flood victims in Tabasco

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Wal-Mart, Inc. contributed $600,000 and leveraged an additional donation from the United Nations Development program in Mexico to total $1.2 million in relief funds to VisiĆ³n Mundial Mexico. Wal-Mart Foundation Mexico presented the donation to Josue Gonzalez of World Vision Mexico that will be used in relief projects aimed at re-activating the economic systems that contribute to the wellbeing of families in the region of Tabasco affected by the flooding.

Source: Reuters and AlertNet.

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