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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
Thank you NPR-Marketplace for the following board trivia on the origin of boards: Tell me if you’ve heard this one before… The former co-CEO of Salesforce, a former U.S. Treasury Secretary and the former chief tech officer at Facebook walk... Continue reading
Posted 7 days ago at Nonprofit Board Crisis
The following Blue Avocado article is worth a read if your board is in the new member recruitment era of your nonprofit (of course who isn't?) Anyway, some interesting and helpful suggestions. You are here: Home / Board of Directors... Continue reading
Posted Nov 28, 2023 at Nonprofit Board Crisis
If your nonprofit is unsuccessful about raising money have you thought seriously about the why? The lasted Chronicle of Philanthropy newsletter released a report on this very topic with a particularly interesting chart about what keeps people from giving: What... Continue reading
Posted Nov 27, 2023 at Nonprofit Board Crisis
Several articles today highlighted the usurping of authority by right winger ideology. And yes, there were some articles about left-wing ideology. And yes, there are folks right in the middle complaining about both extremes. The biggest topics are of course... Continue reading
Posted Nov 25, 2023 at Nonprofit Board Crisis
The conversation about what has happened at OpenAI has continued on. A Bloomberg Opinion Piece (below) goes further to discuss the composition of the "next board" in part posing that the current board just wasn't the correct board and at... Continue reading
Posted Nov 24, 2023 at Nonprofit Board Crisis
The following CrunchBase item is a great reminder that not all boards and their management crash and burn like OpenAI. Relieving. Thank you Joanna Glasner! STARTUPS • VENTURE Nonprofit Tech Startups Are Neither Strange Nor Destined To Flame Out Joanna... Continue reading
Posted Nov 24, 2023 at Nonprofit Board Crisis
The saga continues as the OpenAI, Sam Alton "is back, baby!." Yep, the board backed down to, I presume, adopt the greater good for OpenAI. But is the greater good REALLY the greater good? And with some minor board changes... Continue reading
Posted Nov 22, 2023 at Nonprofit Board Crisis
Dr. Fram's latest missive focuses on what he believes could be the correct qualities of a nonprofit CEO. See what you think. I've added my own thoughts in purple. NONPROFIT BOARDS HIRE AND CEOs MUST ACT! By: Eugene Fram Free... Continue reading
Posted Nov 21, 2023 at Nonprofit Board Crisis
The following Post and Courier article tells the story about a nonprofit shelter that got away with a lot while failing its customers in an equally large way. "For Shame" doesn't begin to cover how this absentee board not only... Continue reading
Posted Nov 20, 2023 at Nonprofit Board Crisis
Not surprisingly, the OpenAI story continues with the now fired exec building his fanbase and organizing to come-back or compete (sounds like a certain ex-president)? Governing Boards have the right and responsibility to dismiss their CEO for reasons they deep... Continue reading
Posted Nov 19, 2023 at Nonprofit Board Crisis
BWB Solutions is frequently engaged in helping nonprofit boards make the decision the OpenAI board has just made and/or help put the pieces back together after the decision. This occasion is a great example of the what if boards took... Continue reading
Posted Nov 18, 2023 at Nonprofit Board Crisis
In yesterday's Colorado Times Recorder there was a story about the Leadership Institute and its training strategy of School boards. It is simple enough to say, based on the article, that the Leadership Institute is not focused on training school... Continue reading
Posted Nov 14, 2023 at Nonprofit Board Crisis
Unwritten policies and practices? NO WAY I SAY! Bad precedent and practice and this leads to bad/poor outcomes. Biases, bad behaviors, bad decisions, bad relationships, confusion, mistakes - all are outcomes of not codifying expectations and responsibilities. I have just... Continue reading
Posted Nov 13, 2023 at Nonprofit Board Crisis
Absolutely correct Jane Garthson!
Why do nonprofit boards fail? David Haney has a theory I believe to be fairly accurate. He believes they fail "due to inattention to the dynamics of team interaction, errors of interpretation and a failure to focus on what really... Continue reading
Posted Oct 30, 2023 at Nonprofit Board Crisis
Believing and acting like your organization is nonprofit does not make the organization nonprofit unless all the i's are dotted and t's crossed. So goes the learning from this Valley News article about a few organizations that believed otherwise. Continue reading
Posted Oct 26, 2023 at Nonprofit Board Crisis
Unless the board is a collective hermit it should come as no surprise that fraud is always a possibility - from staff, volunteers and/or board members. So, I don't believe that the following article should overemphasize seriousness and the role... Continue reading
Posted Oct 26, 2023 at Nonprofit Board Crisis
If your board hasn't discussed this topic, cyber security, I am quite convince they should. Not having cyber security experts on board or staff shouldn't hold-back the conversation. From Fortune Magazine: Amazon’s chief security officer says these are the 6... Continue reading
Posted Oct 25, 2023 at Nonprofit Board Crisis
My initial reaction is "yada, yada, yada" when I think about how Dan Pallotta has managed to make the subject of overhead his life's work. Frankly I try to make every budget I work on include the indirect costs thus... Continue reading
Posted Oct 21, 2023 at Nonprofit Board Crisis
I know that nonprofit boards can set a CEO's salary at the level they think is comparable to similar positions with similar sized organizations/responsibilities. Comps are pretty much all the IRS requests and thoughtful boards would want to do so... Continue reading
Posted Oct 20, 2023 at Nonprofit Board Crisis
Below is an overview to what should be done by a board regarding minutes. While not stressed, one thing for sure: no one has to take minutes verbatim - that is word-for-word. Tedious and will never be read unless looking... Continue reading
Posted Oct 20, 2023 at Nonprofit Board Crisis
Fascinating is all I can say about a new report on trends in recruiting a nonprofit CEO. Worth a look-see if you are a nonprofit board member. Six Recruiting Trends Effecting Non-Profits October 13, 2023 – As the last quarter... Continue reading
Posted Oct 16, 2023 at Nonprofit Board Crisis
The latest news is that 18 of 23 board members of a public/college radio station have resigned following news that the radio station had significant financial mismanagement occur. It is possible the station will be out of money by January... Continue reading
Posted Oct 14, 2023 at Nonprofit Board Crisis
Hm..... An on-line board development program raises interesting questions for any nonprofit board seeking and willing to be trained on being board. My experience has me believing that the best learning is applied learning when I can be in the... Continue reading
Posted Oct 13, 2023 at Nonprofit Board Crisis
From Inside Higher Ed and as part of an opinion piece on trust in academic institutional leadership, the following was offered. I believe the opinion to be spot on and worthy of consideration and dialog by and between boards and... Continue reading
Posted Oct 11, 2023 at Nonprofit Board Crisis