Newly elected? 6 key questions for success

Congratulations on being elected to your nonprofit board of directors! Here are six key questions as you prepare for your new gig, with answers below: What is my moral and legal “duty of care” as a nonprofit board director? Is it a good idea to “go along to get along” on a nonprofit board? What…

Read More

What does it look like if the chair is being a bully?

Guest post by Nicole Schenk Do you suspect that your chair is being a bully? Essentially, this occurs when the chair is not doing their duty to protect the rights of members during meetings, and allows their own personal beliefs or preferences to override their commitment to their duties as chair (or president or mayor—whoever…

Read More

People don’t want to be wrong

Do you have board members who are reluctant to use Robert’s Rules? Who decline offers of training or useful publications? I think it’s because people don’t want to be wrong, and they suspect that if they take up this complex system, they’ll find themselves to be wrong quite often. One city clerk has told me…

Read More

When public pressure is intense, what can you do?

At a recent workshop, a director from a school board split by pandemic-related decisions asked me what board members can do in the face of intense public pressure. These are tough times for local non-partisan government bodies, for sure. Here are some thoughts about what can be done. Download PDF Listen to your constituents, while…

Read More

Should you have co-presidents for your nonprofit board?

Nonprofit organizations, like many voluntary groups in our country, struggle to locate and recruit adequate leadership. People are living such busy lives, with the demands of work, family, and personal well-being, that they find it a challenge to take on a leadership role. When there is a dearth of candidates to lead an organization—and often…

Read More

When should the clerk speak up?

The clerk of a local government meeting or the secretary on a nonprofit board has a high calling. Under Robert’s Rules, two persons must be present for a valid meeting: the chair and the secretary. They cannot be the same person, and state law often specifies this as well. The clerk or secretary keeps the…

Read More

“America will be”

The current turmoil in our country over social justice issues isn’t the first time, of course, that people have grappled with inequality. August 4, 1789 was a landmark in the struggle to recognize all human beings as equally worthy. Representatives of all 3 “estates” were meeting in Versailles outside Paris—the clergy, the nobility, and the…

Read More

Failure

Guest post by Craig Freshley. We are big fans of Craig’s wisdom and are delighted to share this post with our readers. Visit Craig’s website for more superb tips on meetings and leadership. In principle, failure is an option. In fact, it is only through failure – the timeless evolutionary principle of trial and error…

Read More

Message from a Black Parliamentarian

Guest post by Laura Rabb Morgan, a Black Professional Registered Parliamentarian. Thank you Laura for sharing this important message with us. Laura tells her story on video in our free webinar, “Better Meetings Advance Social Justice.” Dear Fellow Parliamentarians: As people around the world continue to come together to protest and demand an end to…

Read More

What can a president do without the board? Thoughts on leadership

  Several readers have written to me recently with questions about their authority as president of a nonprofit organization. It seems that Jurassic Parliament has been almost too successful at expounding the principle that during the meeting, the chair is the servant of the group, and the group is the final authority. These readers drew…

Read More