Ethics Schmethics

The Penn State iconoclasm debate lingers on.

Minutes after being asked by yet another reporter about the purpose of removing names/statutes/plaques  etc. of disgraced members of an organization (such as removing the name of Gary Schultz from the Penn State day care center that bore his name:*see answer below), I had a student in my MBA class make a statement to the effect that ethics are fungible:  my ethics may not be yours, may not be hers, may not be his, and so forth.  Already behind Read more

The Power and Influence of Nonprofits

People need to listen to Nancy Kolb, recently retired President and Chief Executive Officer of the Please Touch Museum.  A highly accomplished individual, who steered the Please Touch Museum through 21 years of growth and accolades, she was able to negotiate not one, but two deals (okay, the first didn’t materialize once the deal was “signed”, but through absolutely no fault of Nancy’s) with the City of Philadelphia (one is not an insignificant feat; imagine what two is!) for a new site for the museum Read more

Pass the Pepto Please

Those of you who know me, know that I love the nonprofit sector.  Some might even go so far as to say I’m a missionary for the sector.  But that would be inaccurate, as I am not out to “win” anyone over or convert them to my way of seeing things.  But I have knowingly volunteered and worked in this sector since what we then called junior high school.  In the many decades since then, I’ve held one and only one job in the for-profit Read more

A Tough Hybrid to Swallow – the L3C

My intent was to write about L3Cs—low-profit limited liability companies.    Five states already allow them, several more have legislation pending, and many are encouraging the congress to create such legislation.  Ever heard of them?

So I went looking for a simple, yet clear, definition of just what an L3C is.  In the process, I got sidetracked by a table comparing an LLC, an L3C and a nonprofit.

According to the design and intent of an L3C, it is a cross between a for-profit and nonprofit organization:  it Read more

A Tough Hybrid to Swallow – the L3C November 19th, 2009 14 Comments

Term Limits for Nonprofit Boards

 In response to a recent blog, I was asked the following question:  What is your opinion on term limits for board members and officers?  Opinions are one thing of which I have no shortage.  So, be careful what you ask! 

The debate on term limits has been waging for decades, if not centuries.  So, there is no “settled” answer to this question.  But my own answer is very firm:  term limits—both for board members and officers—are a must.  My reasons underlying this Read more

Stressed ≠ Important

 

Before leaving on vacation, I foolishly allowed myself to agree to working with a client on my first evening back.  But the client was most solicitous and understanding, and upon arrival asked about my vacation, even wanting to see pictures.  She asked an interesting question:  what insights did you gain?

 

At the time I laughed, as I rarely thought of work, but the question kept gnawing at me.  My answer began to take shape over the course of the Read more

Stressed ≠ Important July 30th, 2009 0 Comment

Da Vinci Was An Engineer Too

I am desperately trying to find something positive to blog about, but I fear I cannot.  So, maybe this could be perceived as a mixed message. 

The Conference Board recently surveyed corporations to understand the current thinking on corporate giving.  So, the predictable bad news:  45 percent of the 189 companies that responded said they’d already reduced their corporate giving budgets for 2009 and another 16 percent anticipated doing so.  But the not so bad news:  that leaves another 40 percent that Read more

1.5 Million is Enough

Bad enough that I had to learn this morning of another nonprofit board that thinks it can do away with its executive director, thereby saving money, and just let board members run the organization.  (That was last week’s rant, I mean blog.)  Boards can’t do their own job!  What makes them think they can do fulfill both the management and governance functions at once and still do well by the organization? 

But now I have to see organizations and individuals all over the country Read more

Do You Heart Volunteers?

> It is one thing when you say something and someone actually listens.  It’s even neater when you say something and discover that others, whom you don’t even know, are saying the same thing.   But when the President of the United States says what you were saying, well, that’s just way too cool!  (And I am very jaded when it comes to Presidents of the United States.)

President Obama is urging Americans–whether employed or not–to volunteer, pitch in, give back, help out.  Others have been Read more

The road not taken?

For the record, this will be the last blog post for 2008.  The Nonprofit Center and I are taking a  two week vacation to relax, re-energize, and come back afresh.    Rather than end the year being all philosophical and pollyannaish, I thought I’d try being practical and positive.  The hard reality is that many people are going to be looking for jobs in the new year.  (And why, when the economy is  already running roughshod over us, do we have to have Read more