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They are volunteers, too!
Look here for information and the latest techniques to develop your board or committee. The purpose is to help those who work or serve on nonprofit boards of directors or committees.

~ September 2007 ~ Topic

Are We Transparent?

The word transparent is appearing in many places these days, and it's not referring to gauzy white curtains. Rather, for us in the nonprofit sector, it refers to the way a 501©(3) nonprofit should be managed and presented to the public-"open, frank and candid."*

Sometimes nonprofits forget that they have a tax exemption and, therefore, a responsibility to both government and the public to do their jobs as well as possible and demonstrate that they are operating ethically and effectively.

The people most responsible for this are those who sit on the board of directors.

Among the things the board needs to monitor:

    • Are all government-required forms correct and submitted at the right time?
    • Is the organization honoring the limitations on lobbying?
    • Is the organization not supporting political candidates?
    • Is the salary for the executive director justifiable and in line with other non- profits of a similar size and scope?
    • Does the organization know what percentage of contributions covers the cost of the fund raising and what percentage actually goes to implementing the mission of the organization?
    • Is the organization really doing what the mission says it is doing?
    • Does the organization have a conflict of interest form for each board member to read and sign annually?

*Webster's New World Dictionary, 1997

Other good sources for information on nonprofits, boards and committees:

Jeanne Bradner can be reached at Jeannebrad@aol.com.

See our online bookstore for Jeanne Bradner's book on boards: Leading Volunteers for Results: Building Communities Today.
Leading Volunteers Book Image

Jeanne H. Bradner

Jeanne H. Bradner is an author, consultant, trainer and speaker on volunteerism, board development and leadership. She is the author of three publications, The Board Member's Guide, A Beneficial Bestiary and Leading Volunteers for Results: Building Communities Today and Passionate Volunteerism. She served as director of the Illinois Governor's Office of Voluntary Action, Midwest Regional Director of ACTION, and Executive Director of the Illinois Commission on Community Service. She is the volunteer program specialist for Illinois' Harper College Volunteer Management curriculum.

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