Safe Schools: Sherman County School Communication to the Community #23
Universal Terms: Fact, Opinion or Generalization?
Book of Sherman County Photographs to Benefit Wasco School Events Center
Non-Profit Board Performance: Helpful Hints
Non-Profit Board Self-Evaluation Scorecard
Links: Things to Think About & Things to Do
The only thing that is constant is change. ~Heraclitus, Greek philosopher
1. Safe Schools: Sherman County School Communication to the Community #23
2. Universal Terms: Fact, Opinion or Generalization?
“The next time you hear a universal term, ask yourself, “Is this a fact or an opinion or a generalization?” Watch and listen closely to those running for office, especially when they talk about their opponents or the state of affairs. Are they stating facts or a cleverly worded opinion? The same goes for news outlets or anyone attempting to grab the spotlight. It is vital that all of us sharpen our critical listening skills.
“Listen for the words “all,” “every,” “always,” “never,” and “none,” and let them serve as red flags for you. Ask yourself, “Is this strictly true? Are there exceptions?” If you avoid these universals except when they are really true, you will dramatically improve your communications, as well as create a better sense of trust in you by those who listen to you.” ~The Pacific Institute
3. Book of Sherman County Photographs to Benefit Wasco School Events Center
You may have heard rumors about the gorgeous 75-page full color “coffee table” photo book we have put together featuring local photographers’ best photos of Sherman County. There is a book at the Moro Senior Center to view in person, and one at the Wasco School Events Center as well. Books will be between $55-$75, depending how many copies are pre-ordered. We’d like to get pre-orders in by March 31st and books will be here before Memorial Day. Proceeds will be donated to the Wasco School Events Center. Please call Kari Silcox 541-521-0073 if you have any questions or would like to order a copy. Thanks!
4. Non-Profit Board Performance: Helpful Hints
- Be sure to file your annual IRS and state reports in a timely fashion to maintain your nonprofit and tax-exempt status.
- Distribute an agenda and schedule before each board meeting.
- Use committees effectively: audit, development/fund-raising, executive, finance, governance, nominating, personnel and program committees are typical.
- Develop a mission statement and review it at annual meetings.
- Encourage open debate and collegial respect for opinions, then unite together behind board decisions.
- Develop board membership from diverse backgrounds and experiences.
- Provide new board members with an orientation, including background materials and briefings by senior staff.
- Regard your board as a brain trust.
- Evaluate the success of your programs, chief executive performance and board performance at least annually.
- Attract and develop board talent. This is a long-term project vital to the success of your organization.
- Involve volunteers in board committees. It brings in fresh energy and allows you to evaluate their board talents.
- Use every opportunity to communicate to your community about your mission and accomplishments.
- Be pro-active in your contacts with the press.
- Rally civic and business groups to your cause.
- Participate in community nonprofit directories.
- Look for opportunities to collaborate with other nonprofits in programs, fund-raising or even social events.
- Communicate, communicate, communicate with your members and clients.
- Conduct at least one board meeting in a public forum each year.
- Understand your responsibilities as a board member.
- Keep yourself “fit” and contributing as a board member. It’s a responsibility, not an honor.
- Encourage healthy turnover on your board.
- Stagger board membership to help set expectations on terms of service and review each class of incumbents as they come up for election.
- Ask questions.
- Talk to the staff outside board meetings.
- Send thank-you notes to staff, volunteers and their spouses.
- Thank contributors and ask them to help with fund-raising.
- Go overboard on disclosure and measures to prevent self-dealing.
- Publish a financial statement to your members annually.
- Get board members’ fax numbers / email addresses on a group and use them to keep in touch.
- Maintain good financial oversight and conduct a thorough annual review of your overall performance relative to your mission statement.
~ Governance for Nonprofits: From Little Leagues to Universities, A Summary of Organizational Governance Principles and Resources for Directors of Nonprofit Organizations By The American Society of Corporate Secretaries and The National Center for Nonprofit Boards
5. Non-Profit Board Self-Evaluation Scorecard
|Does the board get enough information of the right kinds, at the right time, from the right members of management?|
|Do you have an effective director orientation program?|
|Does your board have active committees composed of a small, effective number of members to tackle audit, development/fund-raising, executive, finance, governance, nominations, personnel, program and other key matters?|
|Do you rotate committee members and chairs at appropriate intervals?|
|Are meetings conducted effectively, in appropriate frequency, on time and according to well-thought-out agendas circulated in advance?|
|Are meetings characterized by open communication and diligent questions on point discussed in a collegial manner?|
|Does your board meet regularly in private, apart from your executive director and other managers?|
|Are the board’s actions motivated by and designed in furtherance of the mission statement?|
|Does your board periodically review your mission statement and implementation strategy?|
|Does your board act as if it is accountable to contributors and beneficiaries?|
|Does the board communicate effectively on a regular basis with its stakeholders, contributors and beneficiaries?|
|Does the board establish goals for management and review their effectiveness and performance on at least an annual basis?|
|Do you have effective processes and structures to evaluate, communicate with and counsel managers and staff?|
|Do you have guidelines for your managers, clearly specifying their authority?|
|Does your board micromanage your operations or, at the other extreme, does it ignore them and let management handle everything with little board oversight?|
|Has the board reviewed your operation’s significant legal exposures and assessed your organization’s legal compliance processes and record?|
|Do you have effective audit and financial oversight processes?|
|Does your board review and adopt your capital and operating budgets?|
|Do you have clear and effective procedures on handling funds, contributions and assets?|
|Do you have effective standards and procedures to minimize and disclose potential conflicts of interest?|
|Does your board governance and nominating committee regularly assess board practices and structures for effectiveness, evaluate current directors and counsel those whose performance is less than ideal, and continually look for talented potential new directors?|
|Does your board have an appropriate level of turnover in its membership–new members and ideas balanced with experience and continuity?|
6. Links: Things to Think About & Things to Do