2014 Money for Our Movements Debate Resolution

Whereas:  

  • The voluntary Board of Directors as the governance structure for nonprofit organizations  was codified in the 1950s and 60s to govern the small number of existing nonprofits, 50,000- 250,000, which were mostly run by volunteers;
  • Today the nonprofit sector encompasses 1.7 million nonprofits and represents a much larger sector (10% of the workforce, 4% of the GDP and a $1.5 trillion industry);
  • At the time the law was codified, many families could live on one income, freeing up a second family member to volunteer;
  • Today most families need at least two incomes to survive, and many other families are headed by one person;
  • The primary complaint of both board and staff about their organizations is the failure of board members to exercise fiduciary oversight and leverage adequate resources to address community needs;
  • Both board members and staff rarely find the board/staff relationship worthwhile;
  • Common sense dictates that the idea that busy and uncompensated volunteers should oversee the increasingly complex workings of professionally staffed nonprofits, and that the volunteers should carry the responsibility of hiring (or firing) leaders of these organizations is fraught with problems;
  • The health and well being of social justice nonprofits is not served by the current structure and our ability to build movements for change is often hindered by the brakes put to our work by well-meaning but overcommitted and untrained board members;
  • The existing structure is untenable and is hindering our ability to create radical, long lasting change;

THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED that

• The current structure of the Board of Directors be recognized as a historic relic and be dissolved;

• Fiduciary responsibilities for nonprofits be carried out by paid organizational leadership.


Resolución de Debate de Dinero para Nuestros Movimientos 2014

Considerando que:  

  • La mesa directiva voluntaria, como estructura gubernamental para organizaciones no lucrativas, fue codificada en los años 1950 y 60s para gobernar un pequeño número de organizaciones no lucrativas, 50,000-250,000, que fueron sobre todo dirigidas por voluntarios;
  • Hoy el sector no lucrativo abarca cerca de 1.7 millones de organizaciones no lucrativas y representa un sector mucho más grande (el 10 % de la fuerza laboral, el 4 % del PIB y una industria de 1.5 mil millones de dólares);
  • En el momento que la ley fue codificada, muchas familias podían vivir con un sólo ingreso, permitiendo tiempo al otro miembro de la familia a ser voluntario;
  • Actualmente la mayoría de familias necesitan dos ingresos para sobrevivir, y muchas otras familias las encabeza una sola persona;
  • La queja principal de sus organizaciones, tanto de la mesa directiva como la del personal, es el incumplimiento de los miembros de la mesa directiva a ejercer su supervisión fiduciaria y potenciar adecuados recursos para tratar con las necesidades de nuestra comunidad;
  • Tanto la mesa directiva como el personal, raramente consideran que la relación entre ambos valga la pena;
  • El sentido común dicta la idea de que los voluntarios ocupados y no compensados deberían supervisar las funciones de organizaciones no lucrativas cada vez más complejas con un personal profesional, y que los voluntarios deberían tener la responsabilidad de contratar (o despedir) a líderes de dichas organizaciones plagadas de problemas;
  • La salud y el bienestar de organizaciones no lucrativas de justicia social no son atendidas por la estructura actual y nuestra capacidad de crear movimientos para el cambio es afectado a menudo, por los frenos puestos a nuestro trabajo por miembros de la mesa directiva bien intencionados pero sumamente comprometidos y no capacitados;
  • La estructura existente es insostenible y obstaculiza nuestra capacidad de crear cambios radicales y duraderos;

POR LO TANTO SE RESUELVE que

• La estructura actual de la Mesa Directiva se reconozca como una reliquia histórica y disuelta;

• Las responsabilidades fiduciarias para organizaciones no lucrativas se deben realizar por el liderazgo compensado (los empleados) de la organización. 

1 Comment to 2014 Money for Our Movements Debate Resolution

  1. July 24, 2014 at 10:21 am | Permalink

    Thank you for the resolution. I am the executive director of a small nonprofit art center. For years, I have worked on board development and struggled like so many other small organizations to have the board function properly. As an executive director, I would like nothing more than to have a functioning board as a partner. In the last few years as foundations have focused on organizational capacity as a prerequisite for funding we have essentially been cut out of foundation first, and now local government funding, largely for our lack of a functioning board. The acknowledgment of the inherent challenges of finding and maintaining a functioning nonprofit board is somewhat heartening, however daunting the task of coming up with a new structure to replace it. Hopefully, it will not turn into just another stone in the soup as administrative support for programs.

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