I've spent a lot of energy during the past 5 years studying non-profit management. One of the great names in the field is Jerold Panas - and he does not dissapoint with this great article from Contributions magazine.
What prompted Allen’s comment was when I asked him what his reaction would be if he spoke to a person about serving on a board and the man or woman said: “I’ll join the board, but you can’t count on me for a gift and I won’t call on anyone.”
“Allen,” I asked, “what would you do?”
“I’d go on to the next one. I wouldn’t consider adding someone to one of the boards I serve on who isn’t interested enough to make a gift or willing to call on others for a donation. I don’t care how well known he is in the community or what his name might mean to the organization. It would be obvious he doesn’t bring the kind of commitment that is necessary. I’d pass him by and go on to the next one.
“Give, get, or get off. I really practice that. If you don’t get someone who is willing to work and give, you are settling for less than the best. And I don’t think any institution can afford that these days.”
Allen is right. An organization cannot afford to have board members who aren’t pulling their weight. That’s because, more than ever before, organizations face an insatiable appetite for funds. It won’t get better. But having the right board can make the difference.
Eight Irrefutable Principles
Here are eight axioms which influence the character and practice of the nonprofit board: Read more »