Conflict of interest can be complicated

The basic principle underlying conflict of interest is easy to state but applying it in real-life cases can be complicated. In a nutshell, when you accept a position on a local government body or a nonprofit board, you are obliged to put the interests of the organization above your own personal interest, and you can’t…

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3 major pitfalls for nonprofit boards

In my experience there are three major pitfalls that can affect the ability of a nonprofit board of directors to fulfill its duty and serve its organization. Pitfall 1 – lack of immediate feedback In many cases, nonprofit boards are dealing with matters whose results will occur sometime in the future—next month, next year, or…

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Criticizing a board decision in public

It is a basic principle of parliamentary procedure that the decision of the majority, voting at a properly called meeting, is the decision of the body as a whole. The members whose views did not prevail are bound to go along with the majority. This goes back deep in time, to the origins of our…

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What if your nonprofit board isn’t following its bylaws?

Updated May 27, 2020 If your board isn’t following its own bylaws, here are some different approaches you can take. Download PDF 1. Educate the board about liability The first step is to educate the board. Point out to them that bylaws are not a “suggestion,” they are mandatory. They form the foundation of how…

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Executive committee cannot overturn board decision

A reader contacted us recently to ask whether the executive committee of his organization had the right to overturn a decision made by the full board. The answer is no, unless the bylaws give that right. Similarly, a board of directors may not overturn a decision made by the full membership. Robert’s Rules is very…

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Dealing with difficult members

Have you ever wished that you could just throw a member out of your nonprofit organization? Some people are so challenging that we wish we could! Here are some tips for dealing with difficult members. Download PDF Bylaws and policy regarding difficult members In an ideal world, everyone goes along with the rules. In reality…

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