January 28, 2012

“Fix your board” is my shock and awe approach. Scandals in the for-profit and nonprofit sectors make governments nervous. And nervous people do not-so-good stuff. Look at what the U.S. Congress was thinking about a few years ago, led by Senator Grassley. And now, there’s Representative Charles Boustany. He thinks of himself as a prominent watchdog of nonprofit organizations. He wants the IRS to be more aggressive and go after nonprofits.

I don’t agree with the ill-informed governmental approaches at state and federal levels. But I sure understand their frustration at poorly governed nonprofits.

Wake up! Fix yourselves. Quit being an embarrassment to the rest of us. Your poor governance makes watchdogs like Boustany make ill-advised decisions.

If your board is more amenable to self-examination, learning, and possible change – then take the “make governance stronger” approach. Talk about the health check-up. No need for shock and awe when well-meaning people believe in continuous quality improvement.

Whichever way works for your organization — shock and awe or health check-up — do it. Do it now. You’ll find lots of resources in the Free Download Library on this website. Click on Resources. See the pull down menu. Then visit the board development/governance section.

About Simone Joyaux

A consultant specializing in fund development, strategic planning, and board development, Simone P. Joyaux works with all types and sizes of nonprofits, speaks at conferences worldwide, and teaches in the graduate program for philanthropy at Saint Mary’s University, MN. Her books, Keep Your Donors and Strategic Fund Development, are standards in the field.

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