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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
By now you are likely aware that the US Bankruptcy Court turned down the NRA's request for bankruptcy on the grounds that it was looking for a way out of its troubles in New York. In New York the CEO,... Continue reading
Posted yesterday at Nonprofit Board Crisis
In what I believe a good and noteworthy concept, staff of this nonprofit are calling on the board president and vice-president to resign or at least recuse themselves in the case of the currently on-leave executive who has been accused... Continue reading
Posted yesterday at Nonprofit Board Crisis
There's a big fuss going on in St. Louis over a nonprofit charter school that is not, in the eyes of every other educator, playing ball in the same field. The founder is a guy with lots of credentials and... Continue reading
Posted 4 days ago at Nonprofit Board Crisis
One potential problem with nonprofit boards is that while the rules say they should be independent having no personal gain, it doesn't mean that the "best friends" can't create an organization that in fact facilitates the personal gain by one... Continue reading
Posted 4 days ago at Nonprofit Board Crisis
Yes, nonprofits do have to play by many of the same rules for-profits have. This is the lesson learned today when a Texas bankruptcy court is holding the NRA accountable for trying to relocate to Texas from Virginia recognizing that... Continue reading
Posted 6 days ago at Nonprofit Board Crisis
What happens when decisions are done by a board WITHOUT inclusion of those affected by the work of that board? Angry constituents and possibly bad decisions. Check out this story as a living example: https://sahanjournal.com/education/cedar-riverside-community-school-pillsbury-united-communities-closed-door-hearing/ Continue reading
Posted 7 days ago at Nonprofit Board Crisis
Here's a great theme - nonprofit board bully. And yes, the bully could be a board member or an executive director. I've seen it up front and personal in my consulting practice and not so infrequently although I would have... Continue reading
Posted 7 days ago at Nonprofit Board Crisis
In a recent Chronicle of Philanthropy article a suggestion was made that to increase the diversity of boards, nonprofits should consider shifting their requirements for give/get and put the donor-trustees on another body for raising money. This suggestion though does... Continue reading
Posted May 10, 2021 at Nonprofit Board Crisis
I think the following starts the conversation but there is much more to be considered HOW CAN NONPROFIT BOARDS OVERCOME THE INERTIA OF CERTAIN DIRECTORS? Dr. Fram has offered the following insights about what to do about low performing directors.... Continue reading
Posted May 10, 2021 at Nonprofit Board Crisis
Congratulations to Marla! To all of you who care about nonprofit governance, Marla has done some fine work here. What Kind of Board Member Are You? By Marla J. Bobowick // Volume 29, Number 3 // May/June 2021 Home >... Continue reading
Posted May 7, 2021 at Nonprofit Board Crisis
In a recent Forbes Nonprofit Council article advocating that nonprofit organizations refer to themselves instead as for-purpose organizations, one suggestion toward helping making this happen focused on the board as follows: 1. Reconfigure Your Board Traditionally, nonprofit boards recruit people... Continue reading
Posted May 5, 2021 at Nonprofit Board Crisis
The topic of CEO performance and the process of discerning what this has been has leapt to my attention while considering the how's and wherefore's for a couple of clients. And then I saw this section in a Philadelphia bizjournals... Continue reading
Posted May 3, 2021 at Nonprofit Board Crisis
While I generally don't cover the high-end art world unless the board screws up in some way, today I am choosing to give a nod to the Denver Art Museum board and in particular, the board chair who made the... Continue reading
Posted Apr 29, 2021 at Nonprofit Board Crisis
I think the following summary and the rest of the article from BetterBoards kind-of goes without saying but if that were the case, we wouldn't need to say it. Please read. According to BetterBoards (austrailian "BoardSource" Both the Board and... Continue reading
Posted Apr 28, 2021 at Nonprofit Board Crisis
The following is a primer on board roles and responsibilities. If members have not reviewed the "other" literature out there, I believe they should and can accomplish this task by listening and reviewing this slide show from the New York... Continue reading
Posted Apr 26, 2021 at Nonprofit Board Crisis
If you prefer advice that pretty much echoes what is said by those who have their own preferences and go with the common literature then follow the "18-point guide" included in yesterday's Tallahassee Democrat. Yes, these will get you by... Continue reading
Posted Apr 26, 2021 at Nonprofit Board Crisis
"Founder, owner and CEO of a Cincinnati nonprofit......" Huh, owner? That''s just plain wrong. There is only onw "surrogate" owner of a nonprofit and that is the Board of Directors. And to top it off, this was a bad irresponsible... Continue reading
Posted Apr 23, 2021 at Nonprofit Board Crisis
California and a few other states are now sitting on a bundle of cash generated from the sales now legal marijuana. Lots of nonprofits are lining up to receive the money. But what kind of conversation should boards have about... Continue reading
Posted Apr 22, 2021 at Nonprofit Board Crisis
Nonprofit governance is not an easy job. Nonprofit board chair work is even more difficult. Based on my experience and as part of a team, research about nonprofit board chairs, few have been trained for the job. So it is... Continue reading
Posted Apr 20, 2021 at Nonprofit Board Crisis
Alex McGill Johnson, the CEO of Planned Parenthood was published on Saturday in the New York Times Opinion section. Ms. Johnson explained the dilemma that has faced Planned Parenthood since it's founder, Margaret Sanger, was no longer part of the... Continue reading
Posted Apr 19, 2021 at Nonprofit Board Crisis
Back multiple years ago I remember a commercial, I believe maybe the American Cancer Society, that was in cartoon format and ended with a voiceover that stated: "Do you know why we talk to you this way? Because when we... Continue reading
Posted Apr 19, 2021 at Nonprofit Board Crisis
You are a board member and chair of the board and you just don't know how much and for what money is being spent by the administration of your nonprofit? Well that's the story that in the eyes of the... Continue reading
Posted Apr 17, 2021 at Nonprofit Board Crisis
Thank you Jane. As always I appreciate your thoughtfulness. Mike
I just need to say that I endorse everything stated in the following TechRepublic.com article. I do not believe it can be said enough: term limits are one of the most healthy and productive tools for ensuring the health and... Continue reading
Posted Apr 16, 2021 at Nonprofit Board Crisis