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Mike Burns
Asking the right planning questions to support nonprofit success.
Interests: Assessments: internal challenges; board/staff relationships; ventures; merger prospects. If you would like to know more about me and my firm, please visit my web site:
Recent Activity
I believe the "public" has to come to accept that child sex abuse by people in charge of closed communities (scouts, schools, camps) is just what happens. The number of instances where this appears to be true is significant but... Continue reading
Posted 3 days ago at Nonprofit Board Crisis
From my recently released article in NonprofitPro Magazine: 9 Common-Sense Tips for Nonprofit Executives to Be in Partnership With the Board By Mike Burns FACEBOOKFACEBOOKTWITTERTWITTERLINKEDINLINKEDINEMAILEMAIL0 COMMENTSCOMMENTS The relationship between a nonprofit board and the CEO/executive director is frequently referred to... Continue reading
Posted Mar 21, 2023 at Nonprofit Board Crisis
Frequently discussions about board diversity (and sometimes DEI which includes but is more than diversity) focuses on whether "who" is missing at the table is of a specific gender or race. Prior to this focus and not specifically cited as... Continue reading
Posted Mar 19, 2023 at Nonprofit Board Crisis
I frequently state that one of the seven indicators that a nonprofit is at risk of significant failure is when the media writes about it and not in a good way. And so goes the story of the Insight Center... Continue reading
Posted Mar 16, 2023 at Nonprofit Board Crisis
I know there is a lot of talk about diversifying nonprofit boards. But the following CAPRADIO article stands to remind all that the "I" in DEI is essential if the goal of Diversity truly matters. Please read and do not... Continue reading
Posted Mar 14, 2023 at Nonprofit Board Crisis
Akin to my recent Nonprofit Pro article on Nonprofit Personal Totem, Dr. Fram shared in his latest blog, the work by Bob Harris which considers a "nonprofit's DNA". Harris offers that this so-called DNA includes: board structure, strategy, sustainability, relevance... Continue reading
Posted Mar 13, 2023 at Nonprofit Board Crisis
Nonprofit execs report to boards, that's a fact. How and what they report: not so factual. The following is offered by Diligent via Fortune and I think it's worthy of sharing with every exec you know. Presented by Diligent Getting... Continue reading
Posted Mar 10, 2023 at Nonprofit Board Crisis
This Fast Company article offers an interesting set of lessons from nonprofits to companies. Maybe. I wholeheartedly agree with the 3 points but believe there to be so many more transferable lessons. But in the meantime, consider these. Three lessons... Continue reading
Posted Mar 8, 2023 at Nonprofit Board Crisis
Dr. Fram has affirmed in his latest blog the subject of board engagement or lack thereof. Referencing a McKinsey Co. report, Dr. Fram offers the following with my own comments inserted. I think McKinsey basically has the idea but.... RAISING... Continue reading
Posted Mar 7, 2023 at Nonprofit Board Crisis
The following article from The Assembly tells a somewhat detailed story about what happens when communication fails between the exec and the board, the exec and the staff, the exec and board and the public, the board and its fiduciary... Continue reading
Posted Mar 6, 2023 at Nonprofit Board Crisis
A discussion more specific to "Big" nonprofits but applicable to all nonprofits has centered on the question by CEOs of their boards for bonuses or other incentive compensation. One statement from JDSupra provides helpful insight on this subject: Great attention... Continue reading
Posted Mar 3, 2023 at Nonprofit Board Crisis
I so very much appreciate when a reporter is right-on target with who is responsible for a gross fail by a single nonprofit or a nonprofit industry. I believe the folks who submitted their opinions to Stat News have in... Continue reading
Posted Feb 28, 2023 at Nonprofit Board Crisis
I am a really strong believer that nonprofit board members and prospective board members MUST have passion for mission. I ask: why even come on board without this commitment? Dr. Fram attempts to color my view in the following article.... Continue reading
Posted Feb 27, 2023 at Nonprofit Board Crisis
In the January 2023 edition of the Rolling Stone Magazine an in-depth article titled "A Troubled Industry For Troubled Teens" highlights a business (nonprofit and for-profit) that capitalized on managing or converting "troubled" teenagers who were most often viewed by... Continue reading
Posted Feb 26, 2023 at Nonprofit Board Crisis
The Forbes Nonprofit "Experts" Panel has some advice for execs who want to maximize their effectiveness with their board members. One element I am in agreement with in the article reflecting this advice is that the exec must establish a... Continue reading
Posted Feb 24, 2023 at Nonprofit Board Crisis
Today's subject is sensitive to many. The subject is the reduction in status by Harvard of a researcher/professor who sits on a board of a nonprofit focused on getting rid of the media sources that promote disinformation. This in itself... Continue reading
Posted Feb 23, 2023 at Nonprofit Board Crisis
As the headline states, the USA Triathlon HIRES new chair of its board of trustees. HM I say. They are paying for their board chair. Kind-of against the norm and raises questions as to why this fundraising body needs to... Continue reading
Posted Feb 23, 2023 at Nonprofit Board Crisis
In my nearly 45 years of consulting, one behavioral pattern I've noted with a sampling of nonprofit founders who've been in their position more than 15 years is arrogance. These founders formed the board, raised the money and built AND... Continue reading
Posted Feb 22, 2023 at Nonprofit Board Crisis
There are some folks in the nonprofit sector who have succeeded in earning an income as a one-trick pony preaching that the overhead myth is what is killing nonprofits. These folks argue that philanthropy is just not getting it correct... Continue reading
Posted Feb 21, 2023 at Nonprofit Board Crisis
What happens when a dysfunctional district gets 241 million dollars is a story about just that: a school district getting a really huge chunk of change and essentially, like deer in the headlights, freezing-up and effectively frittering it away. The... Continue reading
Posted Feb 16, 2023 at Nonprofit Board Crisis
The College Board has recently unveiled an A.P. course in African American Studies. Notably absent, according to a wide number of reviewers, are certain truths that in essence highlight the many facts that shaped and continue to shape the lives... Continue reading
Posted Feb 16, 2023 at Nonprofit Board Crisis
When is a conflict of interest a conflict of interest? The duty of loyalty is one of three fiduciary duties of nonprofit board members. The duty of loyalty essentially holds each member to place first and above all, when wearing... Continue reading
Posted Feb 15, 2023 at Nonprofit Board Crisis
In his most current blog, Dr. Fram offered his reflections on the strategic inclinations of the board and exec. I believe Dr. Fram to have made some important points particularly regarding the distinction between strategic and tactical with the former... Continue reading
Posted Feb 15, 2023 at Nonprofit Board Crisis
The one "thing" that Alison Newton Lee does not describe in her following piece is what precisely IS a high performing board. But let's forgive that for a moment as we ponder the so-labeled reasons to love whatever is a... Continue reading
Posted Feb 14, 2023 at Nonprofit Board Crisis
The following Buffalo News article helpfully explains why when "things" go south in a nonprofit, the governing board may indeed share some of the blame. The story centers around two nonprofits who are responsible for quite a bit of property... Continue reading
Posted Feb 13, 2023 at Nonprofit Board Crisis