Really bad ideas for nonprofit arts boards!

board members

  • Be the “idea” person. Provide valuable insight. Have employees carry out those ideas in addition to their jobs.  Give continual feedback at every board meeting.
  • Eschew fundraising.  It’s begging for money. You don’t beg.
  • Make sure that your annual gala is the organization’s primary activity… above all else.
  • Play “Pick Your Favorite Line Item” at the board meeting where the budget is approved.  Spend forty-five minutes on depreciation, for example.
  • Bring in consultants. Find ones with a single patented technique that works for every organization.
  • Build a hierarchy. Successful corporations build hierarchies.
  • Do not read anything sent to you before attending meetings. You’re there as the “idea” person, remember?
  • Ensure that the company’s activities define the mission, not the other way around. Make sure that the mission contains the words, “fiscal responsibility.”

For success, do the opposite.


One response

  1. Great stuff! It’s not a huge stretch for this to apply to nearly any variation of leadership meeting: Ideas should never trump action. The boundaries should determine the activity versus allowing the activities to willy-nilly invade the boundaries. Preparation is always respectful! Etc. Etc. Thank you!


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