• Keenan Wellar

    I can’t believe there are not more comments on this excellent article. It’s one of the best I’ve seen covering issues of leadership, succession planning, boards, and staff. I particularly appreciate the clear distinction between “well-managed” versus leadership that prioritizes the mission and doing what is right.

    While I am in complete agreement with the importance of quality measurements and accountability in non-profit practice, we have lost sight of the reality that many a charitable organization has managed to accrue substantial funding but has drifted away from mission-oriented outcomes. It is not difficult to waste community resources in a well-managed way. In these times when “scarcity” conversations dominate the sector, we need to focus less on financial management issues (the answers is not to find cheaper pencils) and instead focus more on “whether an organization has optimized its mission or validated its strategies through close engagement and work with constituents—even if the effort means the organization must [LINK=http://j.mp/npospark]reinvent itself[/LINK] to do so.”

    We need to retake a healthy balance in the charitable sector and remember it is about identifying problems and creating social change to reduce or eliminate those problems. It is not about fussing with budget lines to satisfy abstract and ignorant conceptions of charitable organizations (such as demands for administrative costs to be at a certain level, regardless of the organization’s activities). Depending on the particular field, low administrative costs can indicate dereliction of duty. We must not compare apples and oranges as I have seen through the popularization of simplistic “charity ranking” tools. I could start a charity tomorrow and build it to get an “A” in those rankings without contributing anything to improving the community.

    We need to get a lot more assertive and a lot more confident in explaining that our work is not to “run it like a business.” You do not run a charity like a business any more than you run a business like a charity. Charities often must do what is financially inconvenient in order to do what is mission essential.

  • David Covey

    Interesting article, important to understanding how to keep your organization healthy.

  • Arnita Bryant

    I think that most articles written in Non Profit Quarterly is timely, informative, and outstanding because they get right to the point and also brings about a solutions that is workable immediately within the workforce.

    I give Non Profit Quarterly a 10 on a range from 1-10 and 10 being extremely outstanding material and written well.

    I agree with you Mr Covey

  • Marci Moore

    This is one of the best articles I’ve seen on board management of executive transitions in the nonprofit sector.

  • Judy Hansen

    Thank you for a very thoughtful article that addresses many of the challenging leadership issues faced by Boards and Executive Directors.