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Showing posts from June, 2012

Emergency or Poor Planning?

I'M A NEW BOARD MEMBER.  I figured after all these years of working with and for boards, and writing about them, too, it might be useful to experience nonprofit life from the other side of the table.  In five short months, the pressures of the duties of care, loyalty and obedience have firmly taken hold.   
At a recent board meeting, staff members presented two unbudgeted funding requests for approval.  Both were completely out-of-the-blue, so far as I could tell -- at least I wasn't aware of them.  Just minutes earlier, the board had reviewed and approved the year-to-date operating statement, which already contains an vague amount "to be raised" to cover capital projects beyond normal maintenance.  Acknowledging that these proposals were outside of the approved budget, the staff pressed their cases for the urgency of the two expenditures.
Many board members -- myself included -- sat in disbelief that they were being asked to find $50K out of very thin financial ai…