Working from Within: Your Board of Directors A Case Study of the ECHN Community Healthcare Foundation Sondra Lintelmann-Dellaripa Philanthropy Performance Management, Inc. [email_address] 860-575-5132
ECHN is a network healthcare system comprised of two hospitals, a long
term care and short term rehab facility, a women's wellness center, a free
standing cancer services center, and numerous MOB delivering radiology,
primary and specialty care.
The ECHN Community Healthcare Foundation is a separate 501c3 from
the ECHN system.
ECHN, Inc. Manchester Memorial Hospital Rockville General Hospital ECHN Eldercare Services, Inc. d/b/a Woodlake at Tolland ECHN Wellness Services. Inc. d/b/a Women’s Center for Wellness ECHN Health Services, Inc. ECHN Enterprises, Inc. ECHN Community Healthcare Foundation, Inc.
Manchester Memorial Hospital’s Development Fund was a separate 501(c) 3 entity from the hospital. Its Board was responsible for overseeing the raising of funds to support the capital and programmatic and service needs of Manchester Memorial Hospital.
At Rockville General Hospital, the Development and Public Relations Committee of the Board served as the fundraising and community relations arm for Rockville General Hospital, Woodlake at Tolland and the Women’s Center for Wellness.
After merger, Board development:
Lacked role/responsibility definition
Factions focused on mutually exclusive goals
Lacked new perspectives
ECHN Foundation Audit In 2005 an Audit and Assessment was performed by Donovan, Slone and Guthrie. Highlight findings, specific to Board: “ The Foundation Board and committee members are dedicated to ECHN, but Board members and committee members primarily view their role as oversight of Foundation staff and not as active solicitors on behalf of the Foundation.” “ The Foundation Board is inconsistent in solicitation, improperly structured, confused in regards to role in philanthropy, and overlaps with the Operating Board. Board members are inconsistently involved outside of formal board meetings and the Planned Giving Committee. Foundation Board membership is not viewed as prestigious as the Operating Board.” “ There is minimal cross-over of Foundation Board on operating board nominating and finance and investment committees; there is little communication about philanthropy at ECHN Board meetings.”
Require more accountability of Board members (some trustees indicate they do not feel accountable for goal achievement and others state they are willing to solicit, yet not all calls being made; staff and volunteer leadership needs to be precise in stating expectations).
Implement Board self-evaluation process based on clearly articulated roles and responsibilities with annual review and follow up with each Board member by the Vice President of Development.
Review Section 3.3 Election and Term, in Foundation bylaws , to reflect current years or be changed to be more generic with regard to the three groups of Trustees.
Review the identification and nomination process to broaden the scope of potential Trustee candidates.
To create and steward a process to develop an effective board that is conscious of its own role and responsibilities, motivated by mission of the organization, willing and able to actively participate in board leadership, and qualified to guide the organization toward progress.
Ensure effective board processes, structures and roles, including board evaluation and retreat planning. Identifies needed board member skills, suggests potential members to the Foundation Board for placement into the ECHN Trustees Governance Committee nomination process and orients new members.
Board Assessment Objectives-
Analyze current board strengths against this matrix and identify gaps of opportunities for growth.
Design a cultivation plan for identifying new board member prospects for nomination to the governance committee.
Develop an orientation process for new board members and ongoing training requirements for sitting board members.
Write a set of board development policies, for recommendation to the Foundation board for adoption.
Develop a board evaluation model for Foundation board use in self evaluation.