Innovation for Your Not for Profit
The Good Stewards
Not for Profits are big business. They contribute over 900 billion dollars annually to our economy. They employ over 12,000,000 people There are nearly 70,000 people in the United States who serve on not-for-profit boards. And…..most serve as volunteers.
Yet, it appear that the vast majority of those who gratuitously serve as governance on these boards have no idea about how the boards should operate, and what they need to know and what questions they need to be asking in order to protect themselves from the ardent enforcement of various local, state and federal agencies who oversee and regulate the operations of these boards.
All too often foundations who have few paid staff, but all of the best intentions, get caught up in complications that they scratch their collective heads over and ask, “How did this all happen?”
“But I did not know we were doing something wrong!”
“All I wanted to do was help!”
“I only wanted to do a good thing!”
“I wanted to be part of something for the greater good!”
“I did not know we were doing that!”
“How was I supposed to know that there were all of these rules that we were supposed to follow?”
“Who was supposed to tell me about the rules?”
“Everyone on the board seemed smarter than me and seemed to know what they were doing!”
“How much trouble could I get into, this is after all a not-for-profit and I am a volunteer!”
“What do you mean the attorney general says that I am not entitled to a lawyer?”
“What do you mean that if I do not show up for the investigatory deposition, the Attorney General says that they will have a warrant issued for my arrest!!”
Over the past forty years of not-for-profits and their boards, I have heard all of these statements from prospective clients. And more often than not, they truly do not know how or why they have come to be in this position; looking to hire counsel, because they have been subpoenaed by a government agency seeking information about a not-for-profit on whose board they volunteer. Invariably, the appearance of impropriety is much worse than the impropriety itself, and usually any impropriety is at best innocent conduct on the part of the volunteer trustee or director. But that does not mitigate against the angst and stress that the trustee or director is subjected to.
In fact, good documentation, transparency, informed decision making, training, and strategic planning often deflects and satisfies any government agency that may have some concerns about the stewardship of a not-for-profit.
What my colleagues in The Center for Not For Profit Excellence ( Good Stewards ) and I have come to understand is that officers, directors, trustees, committee chairpersons, and anyone else who offers their time, efforts, and talents to a worthy not-for-profit enterprise, can avoid insecurity, discomfort, and stress about their governance efforts if they have like minded professionals with experience in not for profit governance and management working with them, providing annual training, guiding strategic planning, attending meetings when necessary, producing recommended documents as needed, and answering their questions.
It is with this is mind that The Good Stewards came to be launched by five experts in not for profit governance and operations who have over 150 years of combined experience in forming, facilitating, managing, leading, governing and operating not-for-profits from classic charities to therapeutic riding programs to private educational programs to health related endeavors.
WE CAN SERVE YOU AS YOU SERVE YOUR MISSIONS.
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Hartford, CT 06106