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 Post subject: Re: Boards of Directors - Woes and Perils
PostPosted: Sat Apr 07, 2001 4:30 pm 
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With the current state of financial affairs, I wonder, are Boards of Directors being asked to do a lot more these days? Does this scare potential board members?


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 Post subject: Re: Boards of Directors - Woes and Perils
PostPosted: Mon Apr 09, 2001 7:13 am 
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From my perspective, which includes many hours devoted to board recruitment, an emphatic "yes" to both questions.


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 Post subject: Re: Boards of Directors - Woes and Perils
PostPosted: Sun Jun 10, 2001 6:10 pm 
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I need a reality check. But first a preface.<P>As a board member, an advisory board member and a friend of several companies, I find the most intensive task for a board is developing funding and I agree with Francis that one of the primary ways of doing that is board recruitment.<P>To aid in my task of developing a board, I tend to use a simplified labeling system to identify potential board members:<P>- Funder = someone who gives money;<BR>- Doer = someone who helps with funding development, audience development, marketing, PR etc.;<BR>- Name = someone famous and/or respectable;<BR>- Socialite = someone with useful contacts.<P>I find that Funders and Doers are the best for an actual board. Sometimes if you're lucky, you get a Funder who is also a Doer and you thank your guardian angel. Of course the definition varies with the type of company. A level of giving for someone to qualify as a Funder can be 100 times for that of a ballet company as it is for a modern dance company. So, as I scan the globe for board members, I match the person's potential to the need. Someone who can be an incredible Doer for a ballet company may also be a wonderful Funder for a children's company.<P>Names and Socialites, I think, are best left on the Advisory Board. They help by merely being who they are. Just listing Mr. Thomas Name on your Advisory Board piques interest. And being able to approach someone and say, "Ms. Deborah Socialite suggested I speak to you," does wonders to get past the front door.<P>However I have been seeing an alarming trend. More and more dance companies, desperate to develop or rebuild a board, have been eager to recruit anyone who hints at an interest. The problem is I am beginning to see lots of Big Talkers (yes, that's another category) who can't Fund nor Do but gives the impression he can (yes, it's almost always a "he").<P>I have found the worst kind of Big Talker usually the President of a technology company. More often than not, when it comes down to it, they don't have the money to give (for all kinds of reasons), they know nothing about the arts, they are too busy running their own business that they can't help, they have contacts and friends all like themselves, and worst of all they think they know more than they really do! And when it comes to developing a board, their ego prevents them from seeking out candidates who can actually Fund or Do.<P>Now am I overreacting? Or are we actually seeing more of these Big Talkers around, who aren't playing with a full deck of cards? How do we weed them out?<p>[This message has been edited by Azlan (edited June 11, 2001).]


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 Post subject: Re: Boards of Directors - Woes and Perils
PostPosted: Mon Jun 11, 2001 4:09 am 
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Azlan, I don't think you're over-reacting. I don't know that involvement of "Big Talkers" is rampant across the board. (pun may or may not be intended!) I have certainly seen it, though. I, too, am curious how they can be weeded out. I have some theories, though, that I may voice when I organize them some.


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 Post subject: Re: Boards of Directors - Woes and Perils
PostPosted: Mon Jun 11, 2001 5:36 am 
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Been there, done that, alas.<P>I just dealt with someone who fit your profile, Azlan. I'm sure his intentions were good, but it was ending up being a large investment in time and inconvenience for me to "court" him with no results.<P>After a few months, I wrote a letter which reminded him that this was an advantageous time for him to make a donation for tax purposes and then stated directly "You know the numbers. What is it going to take for me to get you to take out your checkbook and write a check?"<P>There was no response, and I have to admit that was my goal. Back up your words or get out of my hair.


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 Post subject: Re: Boards of Directors - Woes and Perils
PostPosted: Mon Jun 11, 2001 11:00 am 
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Thanks, guys! Maybe the phenomenon is widespread only in the SF Bay Area, with its empty-pocketed dot-commers, still giving the impression of being big players when they have nothing to give. Perhaps they see adding a board membership of a ballet company to their profile buys them prestige and a way into US society (this isn't a slur, as I too was born outside the US, but half of the Big Talker candidates I considered this weekend were foreign-born).<p>[This message has been edited by Azlan (edited June 11, 2001).]


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 Post subject: Re: Boards of Directors - Woes and Perils
PostPosted: Mon Jun 11, 2001 9:05 pm 
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Leigh, you're right that it takes so much effort to recruit a board member. I'm sorry you had to go through that process. I am working with a company now for whom a potential key board member turned out to be a dud. I can't go into very much details but let's just say this person experiences a dramatic drop in income and, not having the connections nor the charisma, proved incompetent as a Doer as well. The investment that went into recruiting this person was just simply lost.


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 Post subject: Re: Boards of Directors - Woes and Perils
PostPosted: Sun Jun 17, 2001 7:55 am 
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And then you have this:<P> <BLOCKQUOTE><font size="1" face="Verdana, Arial">quote:</font><HR><B>Directors weave a complex web<BR>Chicago still has a tight network in boardrooms</B><P>Melissa Allison, Chicago Tribune<P>...<P>Some wonder, however, whether the companies he serves, and their shareholders, are getting their money's worth. [Illinois Tool Works CEO James] Farrell serves on more corporate boards, local or not, than any other CEO in the top 50.<P>...<P>As a result, more companies now search for board members with fewer outside obligations, and ones who are not too closely connected to one another or to management.<HR></BLOCKQUOTE><P><A HREF="http://chicagotribune.com/business/businessnews/ws/item/1,,50869-51576-52471,00.html" TARGET=_blank><B>More</B></A>


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 Post subject: Re: Boards of Directors - Woes and Perils
PostPosted: Mon Jun 18, 2001 10:32 am 
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The president of New York City Ballet takes a position at an investment firm:<P> <BLOCKQUOTE><font size="1" face="Verdana, Arial">quote:</font><HR><B>MMC Capital Names Robert I. Lipp Senior Advisor</B><P>GREENWICH, Conn.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--June 18, 2001--MMC Capital, Inc., the private equity investment subsidiary of Marsh & McLennan Companies, Inc., today announced that Robert I. Lipp has been appointed a senior advisor to the company.<HR></BLOCKQUOTE><P><A HREF="http://biz.yahoo.com/bw/010618/2523.html" TARGET=_blank><B>More</B></A>


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 Post subject: Re: Boards of Directors - Woes and Perils
PostPosted: Mon Jul 16, 2001 9:52 pm 
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I think this was discussed before but is my perception correct that we have the same board members popping up all over the place? Are more companies sharing fewer board members? Egads! Is that why some of us are ending up on more boards than we care to admit or have time for?


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 Post subject: Re: Boards of Directors - Woes and Perils
PostPosted: Mon Aug 20, 2001 9:50 pm 
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It's too late to register for this now but it's probably something SF arts organizations should look into:<P> <BLOCKQUOTE><font size="1" face="Verdana, Arial">quote:</font><HR>2001 San Francisco Board Fair : Good Causes, Great Connections<P>The Management Center's Board Fairs are your single best opportunity to recruit, strengthen and diversify your nonprofit board or advisory committee, and for attracting new members to your organization.<P><BR>Let the Management Center do your recruiting for you! <BR>Our contacts with Bay Area businesses, professional associations, the media and community groups, reach hundreds of talented, motivated volunteers.<P>We provide you with print and online tools for promoting your participation, and with a large display table and signage at the Board Fair for showcasing your agency.<HR></BLOCKQUOTE><P><a href=http://www.tmcenter.org/programs/sfbf.html target=_blank>www.tmcenter.org/programs/sfbf.html</a>


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 Post subject: Re: Boards of Directors - Woes and Perils
PostPosted: Wed Jun 25, 2003 9:17 am 
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Here is an interesting "guest editorial" from Marilyn Smith, an attorney in solo practice, with whom I was acquainted from a time, 12-13 years ago, when she was a member of the Seattle School Board and served as Board liaison to a citizen's advisory commission on community relations with the Seattle School District on which I served. I find her comments on the fiduciary responsibilities of nonprofit board service to be right on target:

http://seattlepi.nwsource.com/opinion/127594_firstperson23.html


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 Post subject: Re: Boards of Directors - Woes and Perils
PostPosted: Mon Mar 21, 2005 5:02 pm 
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Location: Seattle, WA, USA
Seattle Post-Intelligencr visual art critic Regina Hackett discusses the impact of nonprofit board management on some Seattle arts organizations, among them, avant-garde dance presenter On the Boards and experimental multimedia producer/presenter Consolidated Works:

http://seattlepi.nwsource.com/visualart/216639_nonprofits.html?searchpagefrom=1&searchdiff=1


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