Tag Archives: nepotism

Nonprofit Arts Board Members, Executive Directors, and Staffs: Has Your Board Been Assimilated? Have You?

BORG-CUBE

Board membership for a nonprofit arts organization is a privilege. It requires commitment of time and money.  It requires the urge to change things for the better.

It’s not for self-aggrandizement.  It is not about being thanked endlessly.  It’s not about banquets, galas, and being fed.

It’s a job.

Group thinking can be inspirational, but “groupthink” can poison your organization’s health.  When your board only votes unanimously, for example, or the newly-approved mission is just reverse-engineered to current activities and reduced to pabulum, you may no longer have a board.  You may instead have a Borg.

Borg members wait for orders.  They don’t debate.  Resistance is futile.

The Borg is powerful.  Borg Presidents lead by autocracy.  Borg Queens (often founders) drive staff away by insisting the organization’s activities revolve around them. Borg Drones atrophy.

Board or Borg?

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More on Charities and Families: Find a Way to Answer “NO” to Form 990, Part VI, Line 2

SDOpera

“XYX YXYXYXYX (WHO SERVES AS GENERAL DIRECTOR AND ARTISTIC DIRECTOR, CEO) AND XXX XXXXXXXX (WHO SERVES AS EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR – DEVELOPMENT AND MARKETING) HAVE A FAMILY RELATIONSHIP”

Their two combined salaries (excluding payroll taxes) to total budget: 6.0%.

Their two salaries to all salaries: 12.7%
These two employees to all 406 employees: 0.5%
Ratio, these two employees’ salaries to all employees’ salaries: 25-1

Current year surplus/(deficit): ($3,239,641)

Are your decision-makers married or in some family relationship? For a for-profit company, that’s fine. Family businesses  and for-profit nepotism are mostly fine.

But charities, owned by the community and answerable to its constituents, are not family businesses. And when they act irresponsibly, like the above arts organization, it’s a travesty that negatively affects the whole industry.

Because now we have to convince supporters that this won’t happen to their donation.

Arrogance, thy name is YXYXYXYX.

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