Is Financial Oversight Your Weakest Link?
By Melanie Lockwood Herman This week I finished reading a terrific new book, Money Matters for Nonprofits: How Board Members Can Harness the Power of Financial Statements by Understanding Basic Accounting, by Melisa F. Galasso. Melisa kindly sent me a copy after learning about NRMC from a friend, who spoke at this year’s Virtual Risk … Continued
If Board Meetings Don’t Change You, You’re Doing It Wrong
By Melanie Lockwood Herman Last week I found myself engrossed in my first read of a new year: The Power of Giving Away Power. Author Matthew Barzun offers a compelling, fresh look at a concept I’ve come to understand as servant leadership: recognizing that being someone’s boss is a privilege that affords the opportunity to … Continued
Risk and Resilience: The Board’s Role
By Melanie Lockwood Herman Recently we’ve been fielding a variety of questions about the board’s risk role. Across the board, members of nonprofit governing teams want to support the missions they admire. Board members want to help an organization: 1. weather future disruptions (think COVID-19), 2. bolster resilience, and 3. prepare to survive and thrive … Continued
Is Your Board an Asset, or a Liability?
By Melanie Lockwood Herman This week I’ve been reflecting on the role of a nonprofit board in risk management. A nonprofit board is: A line of defense, a powerful radar system that can help detect incoming opportunities as well as threats A vision magnifier, a diverse board helps the management team see far beyond the … Continued
Best of Risk Management Essentials
Explore this RISK eNewsletter filled with some of our most popular issues of Risk Management Essentials (RME), our magazine published three times each year. Visit the RME archive for more issues and articles! Manage Risk with an Eye for Ethics Ethics serves as a foundation for the risk management work initiated by many NRMC clients … Continued
We want to expand our mission to add various activities — how can we do that and still maintain our tax-exempt status?
By asking this question you have passed the first test of becoming a great risk manager! You are asking whether what you want to do is within the mission. In some cases the mission statement may be broadly worded and no changes will be necessary. Often, however, the existing mission statement is too narrow. Your … Continued
How can we involve the board in risk management?
Board members are often described as being in the crows nest, looking out on the horizon, while the staff leaders are at the ship’s wheel steering it through the sometimes choppy waters, in the right direction. The job in the crow’s nest is to call the crew’s attention to storms brewing on the horizon. Find … Continued
How can I convince my board that they should be involved in fundraising?
If your board doesn’t take its responsibility to fund raise seriously, then your organization is at risk. A board has a legal duty of “due care” that involves ensuring that there are enough resources for the organization now, and in the future. If you can’t get your board to accept the old adage, “give, get … Continued
Do board meetings have to be open to the public?
In some states there are laws known as “Sunshine laws” that require groups to open their meetings to the public, however, these laws generally only apply to governmental or quasi-governmental groups. Unless the nonprofit is a governmental entity, there is no obligation to open board meetings to the public. (“Governmental entities” would include school boards, … Continued
Our board members have served for a long time. What’s the risk?
There are legal risks in failing to re-elect board members when their term has expired. State laws restrict the terms of board service by requiring that nonprofits hold elections, generally annually, or as designated in the organization’s bylaws. State law usually permits board members to be re-elected after their term has expired, however, each nonprofit needs … Continued