• Colly Burgwin

    Will there ever come a day when we put people like Ralston in jail? It is disheartening to see so many similar mismanagement, self-dealing, personal aggrandizement, conflict of interest, nepotism stories in the charitable sector.

  • cocopow

    “Its 24-year-old Center for Nonprofit Leadership, a capacity-building operation, was also closed.”

    Is your head spinning from the irony? It should be.

    Here is an organization so poorly led by pipe-dreamers dazzled by the allure of a big fat shiny new building that they failed to even ensure the survival of their foundation’s flagship venture, a center which is expressly devoted to developing competent nonprofit leaders. The irony of all this would seem hilarious if it weren’t for the fact that its such a disaster for the community.

    If the foundation survives this self-inflicted calamity, it will only be because it was fortunate enough to have stakeholders who went to the Attorney General–and fortunate enough to have the AG’s office take their concerns seriously and initiate an investigation.

    The moral of this story is that if board incompetence, mismanagement, and secrecy can happen here, it can–and does–happen anywhere. Big plans for shiny new buildings should raise red flags and invite close scrutiny and demands for transparency. But even small organizations with modest budgets are in mortal danger when run by clueless or sleazy board members.

    No nonprofit is safe from the risks of board mismanagement and unethical behavior. Every nonprofit needs its stakeholders to be vigilant. Just because a board seems to be composed of competent and caring people doesn’t mean you can safely assume they are managing the organization properly.

    In the words of the Roman poet Juvenal: “Quis custodiet ipsos custodes?” (“Who will guard the guards themselves?)