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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
Over the years I have frequently criticized the Boy Scouts organization. They have homophobic policies and have barely addressed this. They have member leaders who have been pedaphiles: apologized but, have policies changed? They have troops that get that are... Continue reading
Posted 2 hours ago at Nonprofit Board Crisis
If you don't like the status quo: do something about it! That's essentially the message from the National Council of Nonprofits in their report titled Nonprofit Impact Matters. And really, board members don't need to rely on their staff to... Continue reading
Posted yesterday at Nonprofit Board Crisis
Jane, your points are spot on (I've always wanted to use that phrase). I concur 100%.
Ok, so the following story is not singular to nonprofit boards but it does offer some fodder for nonprofit board governance committees to chew on as they consider their recruitment plans. The story: Dr. Oz is being seated on the... Continue reading
Posted 2 days ago at Nonprofit Board Crisis
Admittedly, about 1/3 of the nonprofits with whom I work have a CFO (Chief Financial Officer). Another 1/3 have a finance person who serves principally as an accountant, purchasing agent, payroll person and billing agent. The final 1/3 might have... Continue reading
Posted 3 days ago at Nonprofit Board Crisis
Following a couple of news stories regarding financial theft by nonprofit execs, the Capitol Gazette editorial board offered the following advice to small nonprofit boards: But boards of directors must take steps to ensure the people in charge of day-to-day... Continue reading
Posted 4 days ago at Nonprofit Board Crisis
In a Valdosta Valley interview about board diversity, New York Stock Exchange Betty Liu, NYSE Executive Vice Chairman and chief experience officer at Intercontinental Exchange offered her experience about diversifying boards (for and non-profit). Her major point to me: "diversifying... Continue reading
Posted 4 days ago at Nonprofit Board Crisis
Karen Kahn in HealthLeaders Media via the Nonprofit Quarterly offers the following description of the difference between for-profit and nonprofit hospitals management and governance: Nonprofit hospitals are community-oriented institutions, driven by mission rather than shareholder returns. For-profit hospitals must balance... Continue reading
Posted Sep 11, 2019 at Nonprofit Board Crisis
An expose on an organization that does the marketing for dairy farmers indicates a board that has grossly failed to exert itself in terms of setting and measuring outcomes as well as approving budgets that from the outside, appear to... Continue reading
Posted Sep 10, 2019 at Nonprofit Board Crisis
A nonprofit fills the void between for-profits who meet market demand and, well, profit and public sector entities who meet commonly agreed-upon public needs. So, the health care operation going on in the following operation falls between the lines of... Continue reading
Posted Sep 8, 2019 at Nonprofit Board Crisis
Rev. Leon Finney literally had it all: his own mega nonprofit housing organization, his own church, amazing political connections, his own huge income.... Oh wait, nonprofits and churches aren't owned by individuals, or are they? Well, in a case not... Continue reading
Posted Sep 7, 2019 at Nonprofit Board Crisis
I am seriously scratching my head (no, not dandruff or psoriasis) after reading a Wall Street Journal editorial about how politically powerful is the left-leaning nonprofit sector. Say what I ask? Is it not the nonprofit sector that is being... Continue reading
Posted Sep 6, 2019 at Nonprofit Board Crisis
The topic of "tainted money" has sadly become a regular feature of this blog. When speaking of tainted money I have regularly referred to one perspective captured in this adage that: the only thing wrong with tainted money is there... Continue reading
Posted Sep 5, 2019 at Nonprofit Board Crisis
The behind-the-scene dialogues are not for public consumption, at least at this time. What is known: the Natick (MA) International Museum of World War II is officially closed and its artifacts, by its word, the largest collection in the world,... Continue reading
Posted Sep 4, 2019 at Nonprofit Board Crisis
The Hispanic Society Museum in New York City is going to have a face lift. Over 100 years old, the museum, according to the Wall Street Journal, is filled with an art and book collection that is especially noteworthy. But,... Continue reading
Posted Aug 30, 2019 at Nonprofit Board Crisis
In the following Hospice News article, a Hospice board member reflects on the barriers to their hospice facing realities that likely will end in a merger or going out of business. I believe this is an article pertinent for many... Continue reading
Posted Aug 29, 2019 at Nonprofit Board Crisis
How sorry should I feel that a nonprofit board, faced with demands to make repairs on a (presumably) leased city building in 10 days? My natural instinct says "that surely this is a mistake" OR whoa, "this board has really... Continue reading
Posted Aug 28, 2019 at Nonprofit Board Crisis
In an overly detailed and researched story, the Detroit Free Press discussed the increases in area nonprofit CEO pay. I generally have a "so-what" perspective about these type of investigations. I don't totally see their point but perhaps to ire... Continue reading
Posted Aug 27, 2019 at Nonprofit Board Crisis
Based on the following Wall Street Journal article, it is not clear that the board of Acacia Network Housing is being challenged in fulfilling its fiduciary duty of oversight. However, that the board is not the focus does not mean... Continue reading
Posted Aug 26, 2019 at Nonprofit Board Crisis
Should you always believe what you read? The Alliance for Nonprofit Management's (2019 Conference in St. Louis in October) Governance Affinity Group (of which I am one member) has been ardently and steadfastly saying that the answer to this question... Continue reading
Posted Aug 23, 2019 at Nonprofit Board Crisis
Here's some thoughts about board member engagement. I think the basic message to be true: it takes work and commitment to get all those folks sitting around the board table to want to do their job. Understanding what exactly is... Continue reading
Posted Aug 22, 2019 at Nonprofit Board Crisis
Few nonprofit boards face the kind of "threats" to their comfort as do those in the public corporation boards do. There are no shareholders and the nonprofit board members, while they can be booted-out for bad behavior, rarely face such... Continue reading
Posted Aug 21, 2019 at Nonprofit Board Crisis
As you likely know by now, Planned Parenthood as chosen to no longer take the US government funds that support the care it provides to some 40% (nationally) of its patients. This decision, while it will have some financial impact... Continue reading
Posted Aug 20, 2019 at Nonprofit Board Crisis
The institutions and individuals that comprise the global development community (international aid and relief focused on development, health, humanitarian, and sustainability activities) have learned that the White House is planning to cut $4 billion out of the AID etc budget... Continue reading
Posted Aug 20, 2019 at Nonprofit Board Crisis