I wish I could say every charity operates beyond reproach, however there are recent cases where governance volunteers and executive management have failed to be vigilant executing their fiduciary roles and responsibilities. These situations highlight that goodwill is not sufficient and nonprofit leaders need to arm themselves with the knowledge, skills and aptitude when assuming their respective roles.
I may be an outlier on the debate that charity success should NOT be measured by a percentage of administrative overhead or specifically using the traditional 10% marker. So, let me share some of my thoughts why...
As well written the PMG document can be, it is important to address a caveat to enable the Prospect Management Guidelines (PMG) and the team to achieve their intended purpose. The caveat being 'creating a culture of trust and transparency'. This can't be imbedded into the document per se, but cultivated by a committed group working together each and every day.
Thanks to the millions of marchers who took to the streets on January 21, 2017, in over 600 cities worldwide... shared values are being defended and a new movement has begun. To me, the Million Women March represents the best of solidarity and community. But marching isn't enough. That's why on Monday we all need to keep the momentum going.
Over the course of the past year I have visited websites as part of my own research and professional curiosity. What became evident to me is that charities can do more to leverage their websites to provide the public with information about social impact, operations, governance and financial health. Highlighted below are 5 common areas I suggest charities focus on to ensure their website has robust content and promotes a culture a transparency.
You may determine particular measurements carry more weight of importance over another due to the nature of your organization's purpose and operating model. Implicit in the list is the need to correlate data sets of one to another or multiple sets, therefore I encourage you to examine them collectively.
Boards who demonstrate healthy team behavior are more likely to have stronger relationships with management, make better decisions, attract and retain board talent and lead more socially impactful organizations. I have outlined below what I think are helpful tips to develop more effective, healthier governance teams.
Charities and nonprofits need to adapt to the new reality brought about by today's accelerated social and economic change. By arming all stakeholders with sound, reliable information found through third-party research you can help ensure they are acting in the best interest of the organization.
Richard Branson once said, "If you look after your staff, they will look after your customers. It's that simple." Nonprofit employees traditionally have a variety of unique challenges and expectations that are not found in the for-profit sector, nonetheless it is imperative the executive leaders and governance volunteers invest in their employees to maintain a healthy, sustainable and client (customer) centered organization.
The Muttart Foundation's 2013 report, "Talking About Charities" speaks to the trust level Canadians have in their charities. While 79% of Canadians report having a lot or some trust in charities, there is a need to understand why 20% say they have little or no trust in charities. In my opinion, it's the erosion of trust, accountability and health of the board team inside the organization that has rippled to the public arena.