Wednesday, May 14, 2008

CEO's Dissatisfied with Board of Directors

This article in the Philanthropy News paper (sign up for free email version here) points to a study by the Urban Institute. A must read for those of you working closely with your Board!

Many Nonprofit CEOs Dissatisfied With Board Performance,
Report Finds (5/12/08)

A significant number of CEOs at midsize nonprofits are dissatisfied with the performance of their boards, particularly in regard to fundraising and the way boards monitor their own performance, a new report from the Urban Institute ( ) finds.

The report, Boards of Midsize Nonprofits: Their Needs and Challenges (,
examined the results of a 2005 survey of 1,862 nonprofits with annual expenses between $500,000 and $5 million and found that
62 percent of CEOs indicated that their boards do a fair or poor job of raising revenue, while 60 percent assigned similar marks for their boards' self-assessment activities. In addition, more than a quarter of CEOs rated their boards as fair or poor when it comes to evaluating CEO performance; planning; monitoring programs and services; community relations; and educating the public about the organization.

Although most CEOs rated their boards as good or excellent in most roles, the only area in which a majority -- 53 percent -- rated their boards as excellent was in respecting board-staff boundaries.

The report, which was funded by the Evelyn and Walter Haas, Jr.
Fund, also examined board composition and found that 36 percent of boards have no minority members, and that on average only
6 percent of board members are younger than 35, while 13 percent are over 65. Among other things, the report recommends widening the pool from which nonprofits select board members in order to attract well-rounded members from a variety of backgrounds and implementing procedures for boards to monitor their own perfor- mance regularly.

"Substantial percentages feel their boards are doing a poor or fair job in many areas," said Francie Ostrower, the report's author. "Our findings clearly do reveal disturbing levels of CEO dissatisfaction with board performance."

"Disturbing Levels of CEO Dissatisfaction With Board Performance"
at Midsize Nonprofits, Study Finds." Urban Institute Press
Release 5/08/08.

Thursday, May 1, 2008

June 4th meeting of the WNY ED Network

We have our first guest speaker for our first program meeting of the WNY Executive Director's Network! The topic, as identified by all of you who filled out the survey, is Fund Development, something everyone wants to talk about!

Our guest will be Neil Melbroad. For nearly 30 years, Neil has worked in nonprofit fundraising. Beginning his career in 1979 as the director of planned giving at Canisius College, he worked on a successful $8 million capital campaign and helped set up a strong planned giving program that continues to generate many planned gifts for the College to this day. He went on to spend 8 years at the Buffalo Museum of Science where he led the Museum in its successful $3 million capital campaign. During his leadership, the Museum’s membership base grew from 1200 to over 14,000 members and its annual fund saw a five-fold increase. For the past 15 years, Neil has been the Assistant Executive Director of the Greater Buffalo Chapter of the American Red Cross where he built a major gifts program that has helped increase the chapter’s unrestricted individual and corporate annual giving from $140,000 to $1.1 million and oversaw a successful $3 million campaign. He also created the Chapter’s successful annual event the M*A*S*H BASH, which generates nearly $500,000 per year. Neil has done a great deal of consulting for other non profits in the area including being campaign counsel for both the Buffalo Olmsted Parks Conservancy’s $13 million capital campaign and WNED’s $15 million capital campaign, helping structure a major gifts program at the Buffalo and Erie County Botanical Gardens, and working on feasibility studies for both Gilda’s Club and Hilbert College. For the past four years, Neil has been working with a local arts collaboration made up of CEPA Gallery, Just Buffalo Literary Center and Big Orbit Gallery to help strengthen their development programs. Neil is an Adjunct Professor at Canisius College teaching in the Non Profit Management concentration in the Graduate Communication and Leadership Program.

Hope to see you there!

WHEN: Wednesday, June 4th

TIME: 10:00 a.m. - 12:00 p.m. (remember to be on time or even come a little early since the first half hour will be networking)

WHERE: Buffalo Museum of Science