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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
There can't be enough resources to guide the many of us involved in nonprofit leadership (paid and voluntary). So, it is with great delight I write to introduce Inspired Nonprofit Leadership. Facilitated by Mary Highland, a respected governance researcher and... Continue reading
Posted yesterday at Nonprofit Board Crisis
The following Forbes article is somewhat interesting but not rocket science nor THE solution it purports to be, in my opinion. But you be the judge. Forbes CommunityVoice Connecting expert communities to the Forbes audience.What is This? 149 viewsJan 14,... Continue reading
Posted 3 days ago at Nonprofit Board Crisis
Considerations about the faithfulness of international NGO's in Africa in a Business Day article included thinking about how these boards should do their job. One particular consideration stood out for me: (Board members should) “Approach governance as a mindful value-add,... Continue reading
Posted 4 days ago at Nonprofit Board Crisis
The subject of gender and racial diversity on nonprofit boards is looming large as a result of a very slow creeping awareness that nonprofit boards and not necessarily their staff are not particularly gender or racially diverse AND more importantly,... Continue reading
Posted 4 days ago at Nonprofit Board Crisis
There are those privileged among us in the nonprofit sector who get to be advisors to boards and staff. One clarity I have learned from working as a member of the Alliance for Nonprofit Management Governance Affinity Group is that... Continue reading
Posted 5 days ago at Nonprofit Board Crisis
It feels like there is a periodic attempt to make nonprofits behave more like for-profits. The following Forbes Nonprofit Council article makes the attempt again with veiled twist that leans stronger toward the what nonprofits should do better. You be... Continue reading
Posted 6 days ago at Nonprofit Board Crisis
Question of the day: if your CEO walks out during a negotiation, what do you do? Sub-question: when your CEO doesn't respect you.... Continue reading
Posted Jan 10, 2019 at Nonprofit Board Crisis
Nearly three-quarters of executives pick proteges who look just like them! Today's Washington Post contained a story citing a new report from the Center for Talent Innovation, a think tank focused on research about leadership and diversity issues, offers a... Continue reading
Posted Jan 10, 2019 at Nonprofit Board Crisis
On the subject of nonprofits and fundraising in particular, Ms. Stansbury is a regular contributor to Tallahassee Democrat and on Saturday, it was time for her to impart her annual wisdom. With the interest I have for all things nonprofit... Continue reading
Posted Jan 7, 2019 at Nonprofit Board Crisis
A Washington Post article raises a helpful insight about board diversity, a topic that will continue to be important in 2019 and far into the future until it's accomplished. The insight based on an Australian study and additional research by... Continue reading
Posted Jan 5, 2019 at Nonprofit Board Crisis
I have just finished a Philanthropy Daily article written by a Boy Scout alumni (I don't know if that''s the actual title) who just returned from the centennial banquet of his childhood troop. This individual's testimony was admirable and gave... Continue reading
Posted Jan 4, 2019 at Nonprofit Board Crisis
The Trump Foundation failings, singularly governance failings, are becoming a proxy for what may be more common, albeit not as outrageous or blatant, failings by boards of other foundations and dare I say, nonprofits in general. As the following Continue reading
Posted Jan 3, 2019 at Nonprofit Board Crisis
In my preferences of which sectors I most value in this US capitalist democracy, I favor first the nonprofit sector (the market need filler between the for-profit and public sectors) followed next by the public sector (not always competent but... Continue reading
Posted Jan 3, 2019 at Nonprofit Board Crisis
I learned of one clever cost-saving budget/sustainability strategy today and want to share. If I have this correctly understood, your nonprofit does not HAVE to buy your unemployment insurance from the State in which you are located. You can instead... Continue reading
Posted Jan 2, 2019 at Nonprofit Board Crisis
What scenario is appropriate to change years of practice? Scenario 1: CEO (informed by staff) sees there are multiple "customers" wanting "in" when the organization is not open and bring this reality to the board with a proposal on what... Continue reading
Posted Jan 2, 2019 at Nonprofit Board Crisis
2019 Greetings! I'm holding my breath for what's to come. Meanwhile you likely heard about the New York Times story about how Memorial Sloan Kettering top docs have been establishing uber close relationships with pharma. The question is of course... Continue reading
Posted Jan 1, 2019 at Nonprofit Board Crisis
Take a look at this infographic from the Daily Progress (VA). Report: Pay, representation lags for women, people of color in local nonprofits KATHERINE KNOTT When we see keep seeing these numbers we must ask: what are these nonprofit boards... Continue reading
Posted Dec 24, 2018 at Nonprofit Board Crisis
One undisputed role for a nonprofit board is to ensure that policies and procedures are in-place and practiced to meet legal and values directional (aka mission) priorities. Knowing that policies and procedures fail to meet and/or are practiced is not... Continue reading
Posted Dec 23, 2018 at Nonprofit Board Crisis
The CEO of New York Public Radio announced today that she will be stepping down from her position in 2019 (WNYC). Laura Walker is hailed by many as having created a sustainable station. She also had a year where her... Continue reading
Posted Dec 19, 2018 at Nonprofit Board Crisis
According to AOl, the Trump Foundation will be shutting its door and redistributing its assets following an ethics investigation by the NY Attorney General. No, I dare say, this is not a victory for the taxpayer! Events like this do... Continue reading
Posted Dec 18, 2018 at Nonprofit Board Crisis
The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission is a Federal government agency whose responsibility it is to enforce federal civil rights laws in the workplace. There is a oversight body and in the National Law Review a brief article highlighted what has... Continue reading
Posted Dec 18, 2018 at Nonprofit Board Crisis
I don't generally have much to say about nonprofit CEO salaries. My usual position is that it is up to a nonprofit's board to determine what is a market rate and subsequently what is defensible by the board and to... Continue reading
Posted Dec 17, 2018 at Nonprofit Board Crisis
Board composition, that is, who should be sitting at a nonprofit's governing table, matters for a number of reasons. One reality and a focus of many conversations this year, was how non-diverse nonprofit boards are. So, while articles have abounded... Continue reading
Posted Dec 14, 2018 at Nonprofit Board Crisis
Proving they aren't everything they say they are, Boy Scouts USA, facing declining memberships and lawsuits from sexual abuse, are considering what I believe to be a "cowards way out": bankruptcy. Yup, the institution that has done good and not... Continue reading
Posted Dec 13, 2018 at Nonprofit Board Crisis
Still want faith bodies and nonprofits to be freely political and accept donor money that would have otherwise been spent through bodies that actually are intended for political purposes? The Johnson Amendment Repeal is back on the table and unless... Continue reading
Posted Dec 12, 2018 at Nonprofit Board Crisis