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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: www.bwbsolutions.com
Recent Activity
Given the "white" nature of the majority of nonprofit boards and particularly those whose customers are people of color and/or facing any number of challenges because of their socio-economic condition or "class, it makes sense to me that diversity, equity... Continue reading
Posted 4 days ago at Nonprofit Board Crisis
A nonprofit board member's Duty of Loyalty is one of the three duties of which members are held responsible and accountable severally and collectively particularly by courts but also by all others, including board members. Traditionally, the go-to actionable definition... Continue reading
Posted 5 days ago at Nonprofit Board Crisis
A nonprofit board member's Duty of Loyalty is one of the three duties of which members are held responsible and accountable severally and collectively particularly by courts but also by all others, including board members. Traditionally, the go-to actionable definition... Continue reading
Posted 5 days ago at Nonprofit Board Crisis
I invite you to take a look at BWB Solutions and Cause & Effect's recently distributed study on the impact on nonprofit board practices. Here's the conclusion and summary: Conclusions Our survey responses aligned with past research which showed that... Continue reading
Posted 6 days ago at Nonprofit Board Crisis
Marian Wright Edelman is stepping down from her position as leader of the Children's Defense Fund - the organization she founded - and has served as its leader for some forty-seven years. She will, upon her retirement, take-on the position... Continue reading
Posted Sep 10, 2020 at Nonprofit Board Crisis
Just last week there were plenty of news stories about how Boston-based hospital CEOs serve on pharma boards and how that arrangement may be one that causes many potential conflicts of interest. Recently the Baltimore Business Journal announced that Baltimore-based... Continue reading
Posted Sep 7, 2020 at Nonprofit Board Crisis
Less you have forgotten, there are equally important issues going on the world that continue to make demands on a nonprofit board when that board is indeed paying attention. One of these matters: sexual harassment. One reminder that is both... Continue reading
Posted Sep 4, 2020 at Nonprofit Board Crisis
Truly committed to board diversification (matching on Board the diversity of those served)? The following Detroit Crains commentary is an excellent suggestion, in my opinion. It also answers another question I have asked about for too many years to count:... Continue reading
Posted Aug 31, 2020 at Nonprofit Board Crisis
"I really think the board of directors should have done this a long time ago, and if there's anybody who needs to go next, it needs to be them," said Maina Mwaura, a Liberty graduate who helped organize a June... Continue reading
Posted Aug 27, 2020 at Nonprofit Board Crisis
Steve Bannon is back in the news having been swept off a yacht of an insurrectionist rich Chinese businessman (is that really a "thing") by the Feds for raising money that appears not to have been used for the "charitable"... Continue reading
Posted Aug 26, 2020 at Nonprofit Board Crisis
Dr. Fram's latest blog discusses how the CEO and Board can become better partners. As I say frequently, board "stuff" is both relational and transactional. The same holds true for what goes on between the CEO and board. A strong... Continue reading
Posted Aug 26, 2020 at Nonprofit Board Crisis
A story in the Boston Globe about hospital CEO's sitting on for-profit boards should serve as a reminder that nonprofit boards, presumably having addressed the potential for and actual encounter with conflicts of interest by board members, might, likely for... Continue reading
Posted Aug 25, 2020 at Nonprofit Board Crisis
Typepad HTML Email Jane, I agree with you 100%. I was so enthused to talk about mission moments I didnt circle back on the issue you correctly address. As Secretary on 2 boards I have the same practice. And certainly yes to conflicts of interest! Mike
I believe not enough is said about meeting minutes so when I spied the following I had to include. I should state that as an individual who actually likes taking minutes I have one philosophy - only record actions and... Continue reading
Posted Aug 24, 2020 at Nonprofit Board Crisis
My colleague Dr. Fram has offered the following questions for board meetings. I believe these to be good questions, particularly during a strategic process or even annually and maybe spread out through the year (quarterly maybe?). I also believe however... Continue reading
Posted Aug 17, 2020 at Nonprofit Board Crisis
One of the simple (as simple as a postcard for small nonprofits) tasks for an organization is to file its annual financial return (990) to the IRS. But, for a variety of reasons, some (many I read) fail to conduct... Continue reading
Posted Aug 17, 2020 at Nonprofit Board Crisis
The Bail Fund is currently engendering likely unwanted press from its more recent actions to provide bail for what many would identify as "dangerous" citizens - individuals who have committed heinous crimes. Donors to the Fund are critical of a... Continue reading
Posted Aug 14, 2020 at Nonprofit Board Crisis
Yes, I hear it all the time: "recruiting members to the board is the hardest thing!" Today I saw a Nonprofit Times article titled "Recruiting Young Diverse Boards A Challenge". No, not a surprise but the article was telling about... Continue reading
Posted Aug 13, 2020 at Nonprofit Board Crisis
A Quris article by Amitabh Behar makes the case that the "corporatisation of nonprofit boards is diminishing the impact civil society is able to achieve". M. Behar argues that "as long as the laws of the land are adhered to,... Continue reading
Posted Aug 12, 2020 at Nonprofit Board Crisis
The following article is taken from the American Banking Association magazine. No, this is not my regular go-to source of information on board management but maybe I need to rethink that and make more regular visits. The article, again admittedly... Continue reading
Posted Aug 11, 2020 at Nonprofit Board Crisis
One of the important responsibilities of governance is to determine what are the "corporate" values and standards. Values are the indisputable beliefs (yes, they may be disputable outside of the boardroom but once established, they can only be disputed by... Continue reading
Posted Aug 10, 2020 at Nonprofit Board Crisis
Along the lines of "if you can't stop them, stop them" the NY Attorney General has filed a lawsuit to "dissolve the National Rifle Association" on the grounds of illegal self-dealing and lavish spending by the organization's leadership. Certainly not... Continue reading
Posted Aug 7, 2020 at Nonprofit Board Crisis
Findings based on a recent survey responded to by some 300 Oklahoma nonprofit representatives makes me a bit awestruck in particular by how upbeat conditions are portrayed. Of course I don't know how many nonprofits there are in Oklahoma but... Continue reading
Posted Aug 6, 2020 at Nonprofit Board Crisis
The following Stamford Social Innovation Review article highlights real opportunities for nonprofits and offers instructions for governing - particularly if attempting to engage Millenials noting this is the current and next generation which nonprofits must rely on. Five For-Profit Practices... Continue reading
Posted Aug 6, 2020 at Nonprofit Board Crisis
A legal case in New Orleans should remind boards that nepotism (the act of using your power or influence to get good jobs or unfair advantages for members of your own family (Cambridge Dictionary)) is NOT ok. A story in... Continue reading
Posted Jul 28, 2020 at Nonprofit Board Crisis