I give. Please join me! The case for nonprofit board giving.

We’re pleased to bring you this guest blog post from Susan Detwiler of The Detwiler Group.  Susan is a Standards for Excellence Licensed Consultant.  Standards for Excellence Licensed Consultants are an elite group of independent consultants that have been selected by the Standards for Excellence Institute and have received extensive training in using the Standards for Excellence code and program materials for the advancement of their work and the nonprofits and other institutions with whom they work.  To find a Licensed Consultant in your area, check out the online listing of Licensed Consultants.  

I give. Please join me! The case for nonprofit board giving.

It’s that time of year. Nonprofit organizations are asking their board members for their annual financial commitment. Yet despite the obvious need of almost all organizations, according to one survey, an astonishing 55% of organizations reported that they did not have 100% board giving.”

But foundation executives and major donors expect 100% participation of nonprofit board members. In the words of an executive of Piper Charitable Trust,

“We wouldn’t consider a grant to an organization if the directors weren’t 100 percent in their giving. Why would we? If they don’t care enough for their organization to give to it, why should we?

There is no excuse for not making a financial contribution to any organization that you’re on the board of.

“But I give time! That counts for something!

Yes, your time counts for a lot! I am very, very grateful to all the leaders who give of their time so freely to work on the board. Our social sector absolutely could not function without the volunteers. Your labor, your thoughtful discussions, your planning are crucial to building the world we want to live in. The organizations that benefit our community rely on you. As a member of society, I am very grateful to you for standing up and being part of the fabric of our society.

Yet volunteers can give time without being on the board.  The difference is YOU are a leader. And leaders lead the way with their gifts, as well as their time. You, dear board member, lead the rest of the community by example – not just with your time, but with your treasure, as well.

“But not all our board members are financially able to give a lot of money!”

Wow. This is such a caring objection. It almost trumps the 100% giving mandate. I hear you – and I agree with you. Those unable to give a lot of money SHOULD be included on the board. A strong organization needs to have a wide variety of voices represented on the board. Those who are wealthy – and those who are not – bring unique and diverse perspectives.

But the 100% requirement doesn’t name a dollar amount. It just says that a board member should give. If board expectations are set appropriately when you first invite the new director, then the expectation is that each board member gives a personally meaningful gift. To a successful attorney, it might be personally meaningful to give a $10,000 annual gift.  To an early childhood teacher, that personally meaningful gift might be $100 per year.

A good rule of thumb is that while you are on the board of an organization, it is one of your top three or four philanthropies.

Leaders lead by example. Be able to say, “I give. Please join me.”

Would you like some help moving your board along the giving continuum? I’m happy to have a no obligation conversation! Reach me at sdetwiler@detwiler.com.

The post was originally published by the Detwiler Group.  Susan Detwiler is a Standards for Excellence®Licensed Consultant who specializes in strategic planning, governance, board excellence and facilitation. Located in the Mid-Atlantic, she works with agencies across the United States. Have some thoughts to share on this subject?  Get in touch with her at sdetwiler@detwiler.com.

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Licensed Consultant Named Executive Director of Community Foundation

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Standards for Excellence Licensed Consultant Melissa Curtin has been named Executive Director of the Community Foundation of Anne Arundel County after an extensive national search by their Board of Trustees, as reported by Eye On Annapolis. Melissa recently served as President and CEO of the Richmond, Virginia-based Partnership for Nonprofit Excellence, a Standards for Excellence replication partner and affiliated entity of The Community Foundation Serving Richmond and Central Virginia.

Throughout her career, Melissa has served served in a variety of leadership positions at Corporate Voices for Working Families, the Forum for Youth Investment, Altria Client Services, Inc., Philip Morris USA and the National Conference of State Legislatures.

“CFAAC is the largest institutional grantmaker in Anne Arundel County, granting more than $1.5 million last year to area nonprofits. CFAAC is the only organization in the county that brings local donors together in an effort to harness the power of collective philanthropy to address critical social needs and to help ensure the health and vitality of Anne Arundel County well into the future,” states Eye on Annapolis.

Melissa became a Standards for Excellence Licensed Consultant in 2012. In addition, she is a certified leadership coach through the New Agreements Coach Training and Leadership Institute, and is certified to provide Emergenetics WETeam training and teambuilding.

Read the announcement in Maryland’s Eye on Annapolis.

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Legal Compliance and Ethics

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The following post was written by Issela Sono, Nonprofit Management and Governance Intern at the Standards for Excellence Institute®. Issela has volunteered in various nonprofit organizations in the Maryland and Washington, DC area while pursuing her undergraduate studies in Global Business and Public Policy. Issela is certified in Nonprofit Management from Duke University and is currently pursuing a M.B.A., with a concentration in Public Management, at Hood College.

News coverage about fraud in the nonprofit sector is truly heartbreaking to say the least. Cases of executive directors, accountants, and others misusing misappropriating, or misspending charitable contributions all have been uncovered in a variety of ways. For instance, independent audits and whistleblower reports are two methods for exposing improprieties. Nonprofits are established to serve the community and, are subject to public scrutiny. As a start, nonprofits should do all that they can to follow the laws at the local, state and federal levels. While these efforts will help your organization comply with all the regulatory requirements, additional internal measures must be taken to encourage accountable and ethical operations and stewardship.

The Standards for Excellence® code states:

“One of a leadership’s fundamental responsibilities is to ensure that the organization governs and operates in an ethical and legal manner. Fostering exemplary conduct is one of the most effective means of developing internal and external trust as well as preventing misconduct… A nonprofit should have policies in place, and should routinely and systematically implement those policies, to prevent actual, potential, or perceived conflicts of interest.”

As the code states, developing, implementing and enforcing policies to safeguard the organization’s assets are sound management practices, as these encourage employees to appropriately and ethically use organizational funds. Similarly, providing a safe and secure mean for staff to report improprieties within the organization will encourage transparency – a core value of nonprofit organizations. The 2.0 version of the Standards for Excellence® code divides the section on Legal Compliance and Ethics sections, each with a correspondeing  educational resource packet covering the following areas:

Legal Compliance Checklist

  • Requirements applicable to: tax exemption/tax exempt status; corporate start up; organizations with employees; solicitations, fundraising, and related activities; lobbying activities; and miscellaneous requirements.
  • Featured attachments: Checklist of Compliance with Selected Legal, Regulatory, and Financial Reporting Requirements for Charitable Nonprofits,

Disclose It: A Charitable Nonprofit’s Guide to Disclosure Requirements

  • Proper registration for soliciting contributions
  • Disclosure requirements for: undraising solicitations; deductibility of donor contributions, in fundraising receipts and acknowledgements; financial documents that must be provided to a member of the public upon request; disclosure information for contests, sweepstakes and promotions
  • Sponsorships and taxable Advertisements

Reporting Misconduct and Whistleblower Protection

  • Benefits of reporting improprieties; Confidential means to report improprieties; Implementing a policy to promote confidential reporting
  • Reporting material diversion of assets on the Form 990
  • Featured attachments:  Sample policy on Confidential Reporting of Financial Impropriety or Misuse of Organization’s Resources, Sample policy on Reporting Improprieties, Fraudulent or Dishonest Conduct, Sample Financial Impropriety or Misuse Policy, Sample Job Description for Individual (Volunteer or Paid Staff) Managing the Ethics Hotline.

Conflict of Interest

  • Benefits and importance of a conflict of interest policy;
  • Identifying conduct that raises conflict concern;
  • IRS conflict of interest concerns; Disclosure; Independent review and approval; Perceived conflicts and the appearance of impropriety – policy in action; Steps to take in preparing a conflict of interest policy
  • Attachments: Model Conflict of Interest Policy, Model Conflicts of Interest Annual Affirmation of Compliance and Disclosure Statement, Sample Questionnaire on Family and Business Relationships and Interested Person Independence

Developing a Code of Ethics

  • Guides to crafting a code of ethics that conveys the organization’s values to stakeholders and the public
  • Step-by-step strategy for developing a code of ethics

Working Professionally and Respectfully with Program Stakeholders

  • Working respectfully with those individuals whom you serve
  • Confidentiality policies;
  • Grievance procedures
  • Attachments: sample confidentiality policy, sample privacy policy and sample fundamental human rights policy

As is the case with all our updated educational resource packets, the documents include sample policies, procedures, and other materials that will guide your organization through the process of developing and implementing essential policies for your nonprofit.

The new educational resource packets are available, free of charge, to all our Standards for Excellence® Institute members and can be accessed at this link: http://www.standardsforexcellenceinstitute.org/dnn/Education/Resources.aspx

If you are not a member yet, sign up now to have full access to these educational materials and many more!

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Standards for Excellence Licensed Consultant Named Interim Associate Dean at University of Louisiana

Dr. Lise Anne Slatten

Photo courtesy of The Advocate

Standards for Excellence Licensed Consultant Dr. Lise Anne Slatten has been named interim associate dean of academic programs for the B.I. Moody III College of Business administration at the University of Louisiana at Lafayette, as reported by The Advocate. She will oversee accreditation compliance and curriculum management for the college’s academic programs.

Dr. Slatten has been involved in the work of nonprofit organizations for nearly 30 years – she has been employed by grassroots and community-based nonprofit organizations first as a staff member and later an Executive Director; has served on numerous nonprofit boards including many Executive Committees; created, merged and dissolved nonprofit organizations; and has been the President of a handful of volunteer boards – including the President of the Junior League of Lafayette.  Her doctoral dissertation examined the effectiveness of nonprofit accreditation, with a specific focus on the Standards for Excellence program. Dr. Slatten became a Standards for Excellence Licensed Consultant in 2010.

Read the announcement in Southern Louisiana’s The Advocate.

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Congratulations To Our Latest Organizations!

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The Standards for Excellence Institute would like to congratulate several organizations that recently earned or renewed their accreditation under the Standards for Excellence: An Ethics and Accountability Code for the Nonprofit Sector:

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We would also like to congratulate the following organization that earned recognition under the Standards for Excellence Institute’s Standards Basics program:

Posted in Accountability, Advocacy, Budgeting, Code, Conflict of Interest, Education, Education, Engagement, Ethics, Evaluation, Excellence, Finance, Financial Management, Fundraising, Governing Board, Human Resources, Leadership, Legal, Legal compliance, Licensed Consultant, Mission, Mission and Program, Nonprofit, Openness, Operational management, Operations, Planning, Planning, Planning, Planning, Planning, Policies, Press, Public Affairs & Public Policy, Resource development, Standards, Standards for excellence institute, Strategic partnerships, Strategy, Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Leadership: Volunteers

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The following post was written by Issela Sono, former Nonprofit Management and Governance Intern at the Standards for Excellence Institute®. Issela has volunteered in various nonprofit organizations in the Maryland and Washington, DC area while pursuing her undergraduate studies in Global Business and Public Policy. Issela is certified in Nonprofit Management from Duke University and is currently pursuing a M.B.A., with a concentration in Public Management, at Hood College.

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics report on Volunteering in the United States, 2014, approximately 62.8 million people volunteered through or for a charitable organization between September 2013 and September 2014. Each individual provided a median of 50 hours of volunteering. This equates to an astounding median 3.14 billion hours of unpaid work (excluding expenses) devoted to the work of charitable organizations during the year.

Volunteers make a tremendous impact in helping nonprofit organizations achieve their missions. When their passion for your organization’s mission is combined with strong volunteer practices, the benefits are maximized for both parties. For instance, a nonprofit’s investment in strong processes for assessment and assignment for responsibilities that match volunteer interests and your nonprofit’s needs is vital. In addition, being dedicated to strong and appropriate volunteer supervision, training and evaluation help to ensure volunteer satisfaction and managerial effectiveness.

The new released version of the Standards for Excellence code cites the importance of volunteer management:

“An organization’s human resource policies should address both paid employees and volunteers and should be fair, establish clear expectations, and provide meaningful and effective performance evaluation.”

In an effort to help nonprofits appropriately account for volunteer work within their organizations and to effectively and efficiently manage volunteers and their impact, our revised educational resource packet on Volunteer Policies (part of the Leadership section of the Standards for Excellence code) provides a discussion on topics that include the following areas:

Volunteer Policies

  • Benefits of volunteer policies
  • Developing volunteer policies
  • Preparing for incorporation of volunteers into an organization’s efforts
  • Initial assessment or screening of volunteers for appropriate work responsibilities
  • Ongoing supervision, training, and evaluation of volunteers
  • Recognition and opportunities for advancement
  • Featured attachments: Model Volunteer Program Policies and Procedures, Position Description for Volunteer Coordinator, Sample Volunteer Policies

As is the case with all our updated educational resource packets, the documents include sample policies, procedures, and other materials that will guide your organization through the process of developing and implementing essential policies for your nonprofit.

The new educational resource packets are available, free of charge, to all our Standards for Excellence Institute members and can be accessed at this link: http://www.standardsforexcellenceinstitute.org/dnn/Education/Resources.aspx

If you are not a member yet, sign up now to have full access to these educational materials and many more!

Posted in Accountability, Advocacy, Budgeting, Code, Conflict of Interest, Education, Education, Engagement, Ethics, Evaluation, Excellence, Finance, Financial Management, Fundraising, Governing Board, Human Resources, Leadership, Legal, Legal compliance, Licensed Consultant, Mission, Mission and Program, Nonprofit, Openness, Operational management, Operations, Planning, Planning, Planning, Planning, Planning, Policies, Press, Public Affairs & Public Policy, Resource development, Standards, Standards for excellence institute, Strategic partnerships, Strategy, Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Maryland Accredited and Recognized Organizations Listed in Baltimore Giving Guide

The Baltimore Business Journal‘s 2015 Giving Guide was recently released and features a two-page spread of the Standards for Excellence Institute. The spread includes a list of Standards for Excellence Accredited and Recognized organizations in Maryland.

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This annual publication comes out once a year, giving non-profits in the Baltimore region the chance to deliver their messages to readers of the BBJ.  Last year the Guide featured over 13 unique non-profit organizations doing amazing work in and around Baltimore.  The Giving Guide is distributed to the Journal’s full print circulation of 8, 704 subscribers and reaches over 12,000 readers when combining print & digital readers.

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In conjunction with the special publication, the BBJ will host The Giving Event on July 17th in Hanover, Maryland. Over 150 attendees are expected at this year’s event to discuss the topic of Nonprofits & Businesses Working Together to Find Solutions.” A panel discussion will include Lisa Rusyniak, President & CEO of Standards for Excellence Seal holder Goodwill Industries of the Chesapeake, and board member of Maryland Nonprofits, sponsor of the Standards for Excellence program. The panel will be moderated by Standards for Excellence Institute Director Amy Coates Madsen. 

 

Posted in Accountability, Advocacy, Budgeting, Code, Conflict of Interest, Education, Education, Engagement, Ethics, Evaluation, Excellence, Finance, Financial Management, Fundraising, Governing Board, Human Resources, Leadership, Legal, Legal compliance, Licensed Consultant, Mission, Mission and Program, Nonprofit, Openness, Operational management, Operations, Planning, Planning, Planning, Planning, Planning, Policies, Press, Public Affairs & Public Policy, Resource development, Standards, Standards for excellence institute, Strategic partnerships, Strategy, Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment