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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
A pandemic like CIVID-19 presents the opportunity by government and nonprofit officials to act behind the curtain in-secret. Despite many electronic and digital solutions to keeping citizens and donors informed as to what their government leaders and volunteers are doing... Continue reading
Posted 7 hours ago at Nonprofit Board Crisis
Here's a piece from the Forbes Nonprofit Council that provides some guidance on how might a staff and board support each other. Forbes Nonprofit Council members offer strategies on how management staff can work together with board members. PHOTOS COURTESY... Continue reading
Posted Mar 17, 2020 at Nonprofit Board Crisis
The following seems worth sharing given all that is going around us: Free Crisis Communications Guide for Nonprofit Leaders Dealing with COVID-19 The chapter on Crisis Communications from Ben Delaney's Nonprofit Marketing Handbook has been released at no charge for... Continue reading
Posted Mar 16, 2020 at Nonprofit Board Crisis
The following is Eugene Fram's latest and the topic: millennials as CEO's. While the subject of millennials as employees is capturing many of us old-timer's imagination, thinking about this group in terms of management and more importantly in relationship to... Continue reading
Posted Mar 10, 2020 at Nonprofit Board Crisis
Don't be money blind is the message offered in this Advocate Messenger opinion piece that speaks about one circumstance in particular where the nonprofit board either just didn't understand or din't ask about the state of financial affairs and what... Continue reading
Posted Mar 9, 2020 at Nonprofit Board Crisis
PT Barnum is often credited with the phrase "there's no such thing as bad publicity" and while the truth varies, this is for sure not correct for the Florida Coalition Against Domestic Violence board and executive. The board, in its... Continue reading
Posted Mar 6, 2020 at Nonprofit Board Crisis
The following Washington Post describes bad nonprofit governance - maybe not the worst in history but definitely nothing for other boards to emulate. Bottom line: this board blew $28 million and more - and yes, the board blew the money... Continue reading
Posted Mar 5, 2020 at Nonprofit Board Crisis
Goodwill generally meets a lot of folks' expectations. But the Goodwill in Omaha described in the story below pretty much fails to meet the standards set by Goodwill or most other nonprofits for that matter. Failings including an out-of-control CEO... Continue reading
Posted Mar 4, 2020 at Nonprofit Board Crisis
So the article by The Lily doesn't specifically reference the Girl Scout boards (national and local) but I am confident that what is going on "right" with the Girl Scouts should be credited in part to the leadership. According to... Continue reading
Posted Mar 4, 2020 at Nonprofit Board Crisis
This morning I read an article with the proposition that museum boards are plutocratic and that this reality in turn, means that the organizations are governed by and for the rich rather instead by and for those who benefit from... Continue reading
Posted Feb 27, 2020 at Nonprofit Board Crisis
Six "trustees" have resigned from one of the Smithsonian Museum "boards". These boards, which are advisory and play varying degrees of activity focused on fundraising are not in fact "boards" - that is they do not have fiduciary responsibility nor... Continue reading
Posted Feb 20, 2020 at Nonprofit Board Crisis
Ok, so not to gloat but why not: the National Boy Scouts are going under - too many bad habits have caught up and there isn't enough money to pay the claims. Now, I have been critical of the Scouts... Continue reading
Posted Feb 18, 2020 at Nonprofit Board Crisis
Dr. Fram has once again offered his thoughts on nonprofit boards in the following article. He labels this "how prepared...." and offers instead a treatise on what boards should expect when either on or becoming a board member. That said,... Continue reading
Posted Feb 17, 2020 at Nonprofit Board Crisis
Uh, there was no board chair so the city made this one of the criteria of a $359 million contract for the nonprofit to provide homeless services? In a Ripley's Believe it Or Not story, The City reports that: In... Continue reading
Posted Feb 15, 2020 at Nonprofit Board Crisis
Thanks to my associate Frank Martinelli (Milwaukee) for sharing the following extensive and compelling article on building demographic and cognitive diversity in boards will open your eyes to a broad swath of general and specific considerations a) about the purpose... Continue reading
Posted Feb 14, 2020 at Nonprofit Board Crisis
Our friends who regularly contribute to the Tallahassee Democrat offered their thoughts about the functioning or protocol of board meetings in a recent issue. For the most part, sure. The excerpt inserted below is the contributor's commentator on what was... Continue reading
Posted Feb 10, 2020 at Nonprofit Board Crisis
I've been struggling to finish "Making a Lasting Difference" by Graeme Reekie since first I received this book about 6 months ago from Wren and Greyhound. The press is British but I thought the subject would be universal for nonprofits.... Continue reading
Posted Feb 9, 2020 at Nonprofit Board Crisis
If you are a nonprofit board member, today's Washington Post may give you a new concern: your employees may be organizing. No, I don't mean they may be getting organized, that would be a good thing. Yes, I mean organizing... Continue reading
Posted Feb 6, 2020 at Nonprofit Board Crisis
There's a lot of advice being offered to boards about how to consider the questions of diversity, equity and inclusion. But what should prospective board members be asking if these features matter to them. Here's an offering highlighted in the... Continue reading
Posted Feb 5, 2020 at Nonprofit Board Crisis
Want to develop a more healthy, functional and diversified board?? Check-out the following Generocity article. “We met on one of the top floors of a very luxurious center city office building,” said India Blunt, recounting her first board meeting with... Continue reading
Posted Feb 4, 2020 at Nonprofit Board Crisis
In what I would label a rare action, one that certainly does not come frequently before the public's eyes (and frankly, who would care that much if they weren't active with the nonprofit), three board members were voted off the... Continue reading
Posted Feb 3, 2020 at Nonprofit Board Crisis
Just how much time do individuals give in their service as board members? Of course there is no simple answer which likely ranges from depends to "oh, I don't know". I would pose from my experience and regularly questioning board... Continue reading
Posted Jan 29, 2020 at Nonprofit Board Crisis
While I'm not certain that the title fully reflects content, the following blog appropriately, in my opinion, raises good thoughts for consideration. Yes, boards MUST get past their own network to bring-on new board members! And yes, boards must schedule,... Continue reading
Posted Jan 28, 2020 at Nonprofit Board Crisis
What is to be viewed as tainted money is the job for a nonprofit board to decide. Aside from the adage that "the only thing wrong with tainted money is there 'taint enough of it" if the source is from... Continue reading
Posted Jan 27, 2020 at Nonprofit Board Crisis
Good job Jane! As consultants I'm afraid that nudging does indeed come with the job. Mike