Penn State, And How Nonprofit Boards Will Shape Up In The Wake Of Scandal
To begin with, many of you did plenty. If you’re reading this post, then it’s likely that you’re active in social media. Public attention to recent nonprofit board scandals, as well as robust participation via Twitter, Facebook, and other social media has been influential in the cases of Penn State, University of Virginia, and the Komen Foundation. There were financial and reputational consequences for organizations led by people who made bad decisions.
Beyond these three cases, you are having an exponential impact because two messages are loud and clear: 1) Boards of nonprofit organizations can no longer be secretive about the ways in which they are handling their responsibilities; there will be transparency, and 2) Boards are being held responsible to act with integrity, for the purpose of the mission, in the best interests of the people whom they serve; boards will be held accountable.
For many of us who have served on and worked with boards for over two decades, we eagerly welcome these newly heightened levels of transparency and accountability. For too long, “old school” funders and board members have shuttered themselves behind closed doors and been complacent about board apathy and dysfunctional practices.
Here’s what you’ve done to alert nonprofit boards that it’s no longer business as usual: