POLICY vs. PAPER CLIPS is an unusual how-to book. It is a serious subject – improving nonprofit board governance while enhancing a management focus – but it is written in a highly user friendly way. Two old friends with ties to vastly different nonprofit organizations discuss via email what it takes to adopt the Corporate Model, an approach that can position your nonprofit to meet the demanding realities of the 21st century world.
Given today’s difficult times for nonprofits, hardly any can continue to operate as they have in the past. For most, it is no longer possible for a volunteer group of directors to be involved in day-to-day operations of the organization. The Corporate Model establishes a framework for separating policy development from operational activities. When customized appropriately to your own nonprofit, the Model promotes growth.
This book shows you how to tap the creative energies of the board of directors to address critical issues about vision, direction, assessment of outcomes; how to adapt to new challenges and how to capture emerging opportunities – while turning over day-to-day operational matters to management. The Corporate Model works best for nonprofits that have an annual budget of about $1 million or more and staffs of about 15 or more. However, anyone associated with a nonprofit group can benefit from reading this book. It provides an essential self-examination that can serve as a catalyst for becoming a more dynamic organization.
Experiences with the Corporate Model
When you read this book you’ll find it is useful for anyone interested in promoting effectiveness, efficiency, and strategic planning as integral components in the management of a nonprofit organization. For organizations currently using the Model, it serves as a guidebook for continuing evaluation. Ultimately, those who will benefit most are the people you work so hard to serve.
Peter Goldberg, President & CEO, Alliance for Children & Families, Milwaukee, Wisconsin
As with any transition, there are challenges, pitfalls and moments of enlightenment (in moving to the Corporate Model). We had no board turnover attributed to the changes. The consensus from our board is that we now have much more beneficial discussion at board meetings and board members feel they have more say in the strategy and direction of the organization.
Dan Strick, President & CEO, Southstar Services, Chicago, Illinois
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