Nonprofit Basics for ASTD Chapter Leaders
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Nonprofit Basics for ASTD Chapter Leaders

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PowerPoint slides for a joint presentation by Paul Signorelli and Walt Hansmann on October 14, 2011 at the ASTD Chapter Leader Conference in Arlington, VA. Updated from Paul Signorelli's earlier ASTD ...

PowerPoint slides for a joint presentation by Paul Signorelli and Walt Hansmann on October 14, 2011 at the ASTD Chapter Leader Conference in Arlington, VA. Updated from Paul Signorelli's earlier ASTD conference presentations on nonprofit basics.

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  • All of us, as chapter leaders, are the stewards of individual affiliates of a first-rate national nonprofit—yet many of us have never even looked at the federal tax code to examine the roots of our nonprofit status. You’ll have opportunities here at the 2011 Chapter Leaders Conference to explore a variety of key variations on the theme of nonprofit management including: *Business acumen—that ability to position your nonprofit business in the best possible way to serve its/your community *Strategic planning—looking toward a future you want to create *What it means to move your chapter to its next level—relative to where it is now, not in some theoretical sense that ignores where you are now *How to leverage social media tools to the advantage of those you serve and those you want to be serving We’re planning, during this session, to start with the basics; connect those basics with some of the larger themes to be discussed throughout the conference; and attempt to get you so inspired by possibilities that you will be anxious to return home—but please, not until after the conference formally ends tomorrow—and turn these ideas into actions make your chapters even more valuable than they already are as resources within your communities.
  • As we sit here just a stone’s throw from our nation’s capital, we can’t help but notice that none of us is starting from scratch as we take on or continue in our roles as leaders within our communities. There are more than 200 years of formal federal traditions to guide us in our leadership endeavors when we translate governance from a national level to governance at the local level of a nonprofit organization like ASTD. And let’s not forget that ASTD itself has nearly 70 years of its own traditions. As we look at how to serve as connected leaders, we need to remember to start with the basics—nonprofit law, our bylaws, our job descriptions, and other formal documents. And we need to remember that all of these elements are there to serve the people we reach rather than making ourselves slaves to rules and regulations and documents. If we’re successful this morning, we’ll all walk away from this session with a better understanding of the tools we have at our fingertips, and how we can use them to continue building the best possible workplace learning and performance organizations in the communities we serve.
  • Let’s start with the foundational element of all that we do: “nonprofit” as a status, not a goal. ASTD, under the federal tax code, has what is called 501(c)3 status; it simply means that we fit into the realm of cultural, educational, and arts organizations serving a public (charitable) purpose. This does not mean we can’t make money—how else would be fund our activities? What it does mean is that we do not exist to make profits for individuals; we put our revenues into maintaining operations and providing some sort of public good—in our case, services related to providing workplace learning and performance assistance to members of our communities. And like those who serve as U.S. Treasury police, we need to police our own situations to be sure we are not leading our beloved nonprofit chapters into bankruptcy. The facts, from irs.gov: “ To be tax-exempt under section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code, an organization must be organized  and operated exclusively for exempt purposes set forth in section 501(c)(3), and none of its earnings may inure to any private shareholder or individual. In addition, it may not be an action organization , i.e., it may not attempt to influence legislation as a substantial part of its activities and it may not participate in any campaign activity for or against political candidates. Organizations described in section 501(c)(3) are commonly referred to as charitable organizations . Organizations described in section 501(c)(3), other than testing for public safety organizations, are eligible to receive tax-deductible contributions in accordance with Code section 170. The organization must not be organized or operated for the benefit of private interests , and no part of a section 501(c)(3) organization's net earnings may inure to the benefit of any private shareholder or individual. If the organization engages in an excess benefit transaction with a person having substantial influence over the organization, an excise tax may be imposed on the person and any organization managers agreeing to the transaction. Section 501(c)(3) organizations are restricted in how much political and legislative ( lobbying ) activities they may conduct. For a detailed discussion, see Political and Lobbying Activities . For more information about lobbying activities by charities, see the article Lobbying Issues ; for more information about political activities of charities, see the FY-2002 CPE topic Election Year Issues .”
  • At the national level, of course, we have the executive and legislative branches creating and carrying out the foundational elements of governance. At our nonprofit chapter level, we (as c hapter board members within ASTD communities of learning) have tremendous policy-making and administrative responsibilities: Organizational, including developing and implementing policy Fiscal, including creating and monitoring budgets Programmatic, including speakers for monthly meetings, workshops, seminars, and conferences Membership development and retention Marketing and public relations—in a member-centric way, not just for purposes of making money Community outreach—the heart of all we do since we are partners within our communities And we are expected to carry out these responsibilities with the public good in mind. Let’s start with the basics: our bylaws.
  • Generally, bylaws are defined as the rules and regulations enacted by an association or a corporation to provide a framework for its operation and management. Bylaws may specify the qualifications, rights, and liabilities of membership, and the powers, duties, and grounds for the dissolution of an organization at the broadest possible level. Bylaws generally provide for meetings, elections of a board of directors and officers, filling vacancies, notices, types and duties of officers, committees, assessments and other routine conduct. Bylaws are, in effect a contract among members, and must be formally adopted and/or amended. Thefreelegaldictionary.com Connected leaders use their understanding of this contract among members to best manage the chapter. CORE requirement 1.1: The chapter’s mission, vision, and bylaws align with those of ASTD.
  • A set of policies are principles , rules , and guidelines formulated or adopted by an organization to reach its long-term goals and typically published in a booklet or other form that is widely accessible. Policies and procedures are designed to influence and determine all major decisions and actions , and all activities take place within the boundaries set by them. Procedures are the specific methods employed to express policies in action in day-to-day operations of the organization. Together, policies and procedures ensure that a point of view held by the governing body of an organization is translated into steps that result in an outcome compatible with that view. Procedures are a fixed, step-by-step sequence of activities or course of action (with definite start and end points ) that must be followed in the same order to correctly perform a task . BusinessDictionary.com Policies allow connected leaders to govern together with consistency through a common understanding.
  • One of our primary responsibilities is to operate in an open and transparent way. Board meetings need to be open to all interested members and guests. Financial records should be openly reported, discussed, reviewed, and approved by Board members. Policy decisions not only need to reflect the organization’s mission, vision, and value statements, but also need to be made with members and the larger community in mind.
  • Debrief questions What are the membership categories? Are there group or corporate memberships? Are there student memberships? If student memberships, what are the requirements? What are the fees for each category? What is the renewal term? Calendar month to end of following calendar month? Anniversary date to anniversary date?
  • Case Study Debrief questions Where will consultants be able to advertise? What information is permitted? What is the cost of advertising? What is the term (length) of the advertising? Are non-member consultants permitted to advertise? If, so, what is permitted? What is the cost and term?
  • An agenda is defined as a list or outline of things to be considered or done. Meriam-webster.com In the best of all worlds, it can also be seen as a script. *Tip 1: Having a formal agenda which is shaped by all Board members means no one need be left behind. *Tip 2: Setting a general time limit on discussion helps a lot; if conversations begin to bog down and no decision is on the horizon, we can refer the discussion to a task force or subcommittee—clearing setting the scope of what the group should accomplish and setting a time frame in which the issue returns for Board approval or rejection—as a way of keeping the issue alive while giving everyone some time to examine what is really making the issue such a difficult one to resolve. *Tip 3: Using Roberts Rules of Order may drive some people crazy, but if the system is used as a tool, not as a way of stifling conversation, meetings quickly become productive—and Board members who were not familiar with the book pick up another skill in the course of their service. Here’s how viewing an agenda as a script can be helpful: if you and other Board members can develop an agenda which provides step-by-step achievements which lead to a cohesive series of decisions, meetings make sense rather than making participants fall asleep. An example: if you generally have a system of conducting old business before new business, but are about to take on a new VP, Finance, you will probably want to have the new business of voting in that new VP before proceeding to a Finance report under the heading of “Old Business.” A connected leader leads, and participates, in meetings that are respectful of time and topics. Call to Order Invocation Pledge of Allegiance Roll Call Reading of the minutes of the last meeting (motion to approve) Treasurers Report (motion to approve) Old Business (items that have previously been brought before this body) New Business (items that have not yet been brought before this body) Officer Reports Announcements (date, time, locations of upcoming meetings) Adjourn (and don’t forget to celebrate accomplishments!)
  • Minutes are a permanent , formal , and detailed (although not verbatim ) record of business transacted, and resolutions adopted, at a firm's official meetings such as board of directors , manager's , and annual general meeting (AGM) . Once written up (or typed) in a minute book and approved at the next meeting, the minutes are accepted as a true representation of the proceedings they record and can be used as prima facie evidence in legal matters . businessdictionary.com Connected leaders use minutes as the trail makers of board actions. Follows the format of the agenda Uses Roberts Rules of Order: motions, seconds, summary of discussion, amendments, and outcome of vote. Board should approve previous meeting minutes at next board meeting. Approved minutes should be made available to members - CORE requirement 1.7 (e.g., posted on web site)
  • Case Study Debrief questions When was the meeting? Who was there? Was there a quorum? What actions were taken? When is the next meeting?
  • We may not be running the corner market here—at least we hope we’re not—but there’s no reason not to apply the same standards of professionalism. We need to manage our assets carefully and responsibly, and take prudent steps to protect ourselves and our organization with basic elements including Director & Officer insurance. Something newcomers to nonprofit boards rarely consider: if you mismanage the nonprofit’s resources, you can be held personally liable. It is, therefore, important, that every board member takes responsibility for reviewing monthly financial statements for the organization and insist on regular reviews to make sure that the books are in order.
  • Once our bylaws are in place, we need to know who is responsible for each aspect of implementing them. The process of revising job descriptions for Mount Diablo extended over a nine-month period which began with reviews of the job descriptions posted on the ASTD Chapter Leader “Resources by leadership position” page (http://www.astd.org/membership/ChapterLeadership/leadershippositions.htm) and reviews of existing Chapter Board members’ job descriptions. Conversations with individual Board members were followed by work by the Chapter President and President-Elect to rewrite all job descriptions in a consistent and overlapping way that stressed the collaborative nature of how we work. Those drafts were returned to individuals for review, and finally went to the full Board for formal adoption in September 2009.
  • Having a combination of committees and task forces helps us effectively run our organizations in several ways: *Duties and expectations are clearly outlined. *Timelines for work are established in advance. *There are wonderful opportunities for engagement at many levels if board and non-board members serve. *Successful service on a short-term committee or task force (i.e., a Nominating Committee) cultivates future Chapter leaders. It also fosters collaboration.
  • We started with the idea that there is nothing wrong with making a profit, as long as that profit is used to fund the services we provide in accordance with our mission, vision, and value statements. That idea comes back to us as we remember that we’re working toward a common (service or educational) goal, and that things move very nicely if we take advantage of possibilities for collaboration as we build what we intend to build.
  • Since nonprofits are always so stretched for resources—and ASTD chapters, as you well know, are no exception—we always need to look for ways to effectively use what we have. If a posting on a website, for example, can provide text for a press release or a newsletter article, so much the better. If a list of prospective vendors or sponsors for a chapter event pans out, it might also be effective in attracting new members from the employees who are associated with those vendors or sponsors. If a presenter at a monthly meeting is interested in what you do, you might be looking at a new volunteer with skills which you don’t already have within your chapter. All this requires is an openness to thinking strategically in a way which brings people together without taking advantage of them.
  • Strategic planning is a funny thing: it’s one of the most basic and, at the same time, one of the greatest of the higher level functions we perform while serving on a Board, and requires great judgment. We’re not going to spend much time on it here because of how complex it can become. We would be remiss, however, if we didn’t encourage you to always think strategically, given the resources you have, and formally engage in a strategic planning process as soon as you have updated your bylaws, job descriptions, and processes and procedures so you’ll have a firm foundation from which to leap.
  • On the topic of marketing—oh, sorry, not that kind of marketing—many of us think that if we do something good, our audience is going to find us. That’s why we see so many organizations flounder and/or go out of business. Many also make the mistake of thinking that marketing is the same as public relations. In the best sense of the word, marketing involves everything we’ve been discussing; having key players at the table from the beginning as we create effective mission, vision, and value statements; create effective bylaws, job descriptions, and strategic plans; and, from all of that effort, create a marketing plan which matches current and prospective audience members with what we have to offer. No, it’s not easy, but it is tremendously rewarding. And we will come back to this theme as we briefly explore social networking tools in the final part of our session today.
  • There is, of course, a wonderful payoff at the end of all this. We find ourselves making deals in the most responsible, productive, and pleasurable of ways, and a large part of the satisfaction comes from having worked with colleagues to serve other colleagues in implementing the mission, vision, and value we share in common—the ultimate monument to what we produce and to our ability to connect with those we serve locally, regionally, and nationally.
  • Case Study Debrief questions
  • There are few things more tragic within a nonprofit organization than unused resources. Since people are our strongest resources, we have a responsibility to draw them in as they want to be drawn in—not just in ways that use them, burn them out, and toss them aside. If we work diligently to match people with what they want, they’re going to stay with us longer than they otherwise would, and that means we work less to achieve greater and more sustainable results.
  • Engaging people from the moment they first walk through your doors doesn’t require a carnival atmosphere—although we certainly wouldn’t turn it down if it were available to us. It can be as simple as making sure that everyone is greeted personally by a chapter leader; everyone is introduced to at least one or two other attendees; and that chapter leaders do not all sit together and thereby create an immediate sense of in-groups and outsiders. We very consciously make sure that at least one chapter leader or long-term member sits at each table during chapter monthly meetings at Mount Diablo Chapter meetings. We also try to collect business cards from those we don’t know and, as time allows, place a follow-up call or send a brief email a day or two after meeting a guest or new member just to tell them how much we appreciated their presence. Any questions about why we’ve seen smaller decreases in membership and actual increases at times when others are struggling to fill seats at events and board meetings?
  • If you’ve sensed a theme throughout this presentation, it’s the huge issue we all face of trying to match challenges with resources. The same half-empty glass of having too much to do with too few people to do it becomes the half full and eventually overflowing glass of engagement when we meet our members needs not only through the services we provide but through the opportunity to become part of the collaborative community a great nonprofit fosters. Nonprofits are just like all other groups: if we’re providing something of value in an appealing way, we’re going to attract the support we want and need to survive.
  • And, as so many of our colleagues have discovered, there really is a place for social media tools in our nonprofit basics toolkit. ASTD nationally, regionally, and locally models what is promotes by maintaining a vital and vibrant presence on LinkedIn, Twitter, and other online services. If our members and prospective members are on social media, we need to remember how it important it is to go there rather than expecting them to come to us.
  • Although we don’t have to go back to prehistoric times to bring back lapsed members, we overlook a natural resource if we let past members disappear. Sometimes overt actions can help: a phone call, a card sent by mail, or the ubiquitous email messages designed to remind former members that they’re missing something they used to enjoy. And if membership has fallen because the organization has stopped meeting members’ needs, part of the rebuilding process is to become so attractive again that lapsed members start finding their way home, as several now have with ASTD’s Mt. Diablo Chapter. We have, over the past several months, seen former Chapter presidents and other Board members trickling back in after absences of anywhere from several months to several years—and much of what initiated that reverse flow was the simple act of placing a phone call or attracting a few key players who, in turn, attracted a few more key players.
  • The world, as we well know, is a wondrous place, and nonprofits are one of the wonders of the world. If we manage them properly; meet our obligations to our organizations, to our members, and to our community at large; and are welcoming rather than exclusive, we all win. And we have fun in the process.
  • Case Study Debrief questions
  • Three great resources; if things worked out the way they were planned, these are on sale in the conference bookstore.
  • Credit where credit is due: As workplace learning and performance professionals, you know that acknowledging our sources and drawing from Creative Commons resources such as those available through Flickr.com is not only good practice but a great example for others as we help shape best practices within our industry and beyond.

Nonprofit Basics for ASTD Chapter Leaders Nonprofit Basics for ASTD Chapter Leaders Presentation Transcript

  • Nonprofit Basics: Effective Chapter Management from Vision to Implementation Paul Signorelli , National Advisors for Chapters & Mount Diablo Chapter Walt Hansmann , CPLP, Northeast Oklahoma Chapter Friday, October 14, 2011 10 am - noon
  • Connecting: From National to Local
  • Nonprofit Does Not Mean We Can’t Make Money
  • Nonprofit Boards as Executive and Legislative Branches
  • Rules are not necessarily sacred, principles are. Franklin Delano Roosevelt
  • Policies are many, principles are few, policies will change, principles never do. John C. Maxwell
  • No Secrets: We Connect Through Transparency
  • Exercise 1: Case Study
    • Article III – Membership and Dues
    • Section 3
    • The Board of Directors shall fix the initiation and reinstatement fees and membership dues of the Chapter. The annual membership dues of the organization shall be payable on the anniversary of membership. Membership shall be terminated when dues of any member are unpaid as of three months after the due date.
    • Write the Policy
    • Are there membership categories?
    • What are the fees for each membership category?
    • Who is involved in setting the policy?
  • Exercise 2: Case Study
    • Article II – Purpose
    • Section 7
    • Providing a place for workplace learning and performance practitioners to network with their peers
    • The Issue
    • Members who are consultants want to advertise on the chapter website. The board needs to create a policy.
    • The Challenge
    • Working in small groups:
    • Create a policy.
    • Discuss how you would create this policy at home.
  • A meeting is an event where minutes are taken and hours wasted. James Tiberius Kirk
  • For the Record
    • The Challenge:
    • Working in small groups, please
      • Review the minutes of the meeting.
      • Recommend how they can be improved.
      • Pull out the key points that should be included
    Exercise 3: Case Study
  • Running It Like the Business It Is
  • Job Descriptions To Meet Our Needs
  • Committee Structure with Interlocking Pieces
  • Collaboration with a Goal
  • Stretching Our Resources
  • Planning Strategically
  • Marketing for Success
  • A Monument Worth Building
  • Exercise 4: Plugging Gaps
    • Implementing Mission
    • The Challenge
    • Working in small groups, please:
    • Briefly identify one underdeveloped aspect of your organization’s infrastructure (bylaws, job descriptions, committee structure, strategic plan, or anything else we have discussed) and identify what is holding you back in terms of developing that element.
    • Identify one or two steps you and your colleagues can take when you return home to strengthen that element.
  • Engaging Underutilized Members
  • Engaging New Members
  • Filling Existing Gaps with New Resources
  • Putting “Social” at the Center of Social Networking
  • Building from the Past for a Stronger Future
  • Returning to the Center Of Our World of Governance
  • Exercise 5: Engagement
    • Levels of Engagement
    • The Challenge
    • Working in small groups, please:
      • Briefly discuss how your chapter currently effectively engages new and current members (activities, committee involvement, utilizing their skills).
      • Choose one or two things you will adapt and implement from what you’ve learned here to increase levels of engagement face to face or online within your own organization.
  • Resources ASTD Chapter Leader Community: http://www.astd.org/membership/ChapterLeadership ASTD Mt. Diablo Chapter Public Documents: http://mtdiabloastd.org/services/chapter_public_documents Free Management Library for Nonprofits & For-Profits: http://managementhelp.org/ Harvard University Hauser Center for Nonprofit Organizations Online Nonprofit News Resources: http://www.hks.harvard.edu/hauser/links/#news
  • Conclusions Final Thoughts Q&A Actions: Next Steps
  • #feedback Connect with ALC and make it better. Your comments and suggestions help future chapter leaders. Please complete the #feedback form and drop it in the basket.
  • Stay Connected [email_address] http://paulsignorelli.com http://buildingcreativebridges.wordpress.com walt.hansmann@gmail.​ com http://www.linkedin.com/in/walthansmann
  • Credits
    • (Images taken from flickr.com unless otherwise noted)
    • U.S. Capitol: From Matti Mattila’s photostream at http://www.flickr.com/photos/mattimattila/2711777079/sizes/m/in/photostream/
    • U.S. Treasury Police Logo: From Cliff1066’s photostream at http://www.flickr.com/photos/nostri-imago/4088718736/sizes/m/in/photostream/
    • White House: From Tom Lohdan’s photostream at http://www.flickr.com/photos/tom_lohdan/4217661984/sizes/m/in/photostream/
    • U.S. Capitol: From Ajagendorf25’s photostream at http://www.flickr.com/photos/ajagendorf25/5150291942/sizes/m/in/photostream/
    • Bylaws photo: From Ryan Overdorf’s photostream
    • Bylaws by Congregation Beth Israel: From the Congregation Beth Israel photostream
    • Constitution: From the U.S. National Archives’ photostream
    • Dog Guardians: From I ain Ramsey’s photostream
    • YMCA: From Bonz Photography’s photostream
    • Secrets: From SamikRC’s photostream at http://www.flickr.com/photos/samikrc/3261645610/
    • Roberts Rules: From Justin Siiles’ photostream
    • Timepiece: From TW Collins’s photostream
    • Just the Facts: From Harrity’s photostream
    • Cat’s Paw: From Fippenzee’s photostream
    • San Francisco Market: From Dizzy Atmosphere’s photostream at http://www.flickr.com/photos/daveglass/1974026636 /
    • Wanted: From Jeffmyers01’s photostream at http://www.flickr.com/photos/jeffmeyers01/3575130872/
    • Puzzle: Thefinsider’s photostream at http://www.flickr.com/photos/41222046@N04/3796209450/
    • Building: Jef Safi’s photostream at http://www.flickr.com/photos/jef_safi/370788914/
    • Arms outstretched: From Diamonds_in_the_soles_of_her_shoes’ Photostream at http://www.flickr.com/photos/diamonds_in_the_soles_of_her_shoes/2175451042/
  • Credits, continued
    • Leaping: Rob Featonby’s Photostream at http://www.flickr.com/photos/rob_featonby/3289450844/
    • Marketing : Natalie Maynor’s Photostream at http://www.flickr.com/photos/nataliemaynor/2539111053/in/photostream/
    • Jefferson Monument: From Angelskiss31’s p hotostream at http://www.flickr.com/photos/angelskiss31/4529524860/sizes/m/in/photostream /
    • Empty swing: From Ben’s photostream at http://www.flickr.com/photos/visbeek/2787578916/
    • Flying papers: From Aldor’s photostream at http://www.flickr.com/photos/aldor/98939138/
    • Glass: From Ryan Thomas Snider’s photostream at http://www.flickr.com/photos/ryansnider/3689263090/
    • Caveman: From Lord Jim’s photostream at http://www.flickr.com/photos/lord-jim/2245362817/
    • Spaceman: From Practicalowl’s photostream at http://www.flickr.com/photos/practicalowl/2263287756/
    • Washington Monument: From Ehpien’s photostream at http://www.flickr.com/photos/91499534@N00/323412710/sizes/m/in/photostream /