Saturday, February 22, 2014

The cult of non profits - PART I

I have been on a Non Profit board for two months now, for a grand total of two meetings... There may not be a third after this post as they can actually vote me out and pull a Mujeeb on me (minus the severance).

Either way, I am on probation for a year, until I can demonstrate that I can behave, and then... maybe, I may get reappointed if I am a good boy... so this is me "behaving". 

I was asked to not take to my "little blog" any and all little DGI dysfunction. I was OK with that as I thought that I would not have to, since i could face the other board members as an equal, ask questions and hopefully shape civic, democratic decisions to benefit all.
Obviously, Al Leonard of the Carroll companies did not get the memo and was not having it !!! 

Here are a few thoughts...
First of all,  we are in 2014 so why can't we debate like adults, like reasonable human beings? 
Why can't I question funding allocation without it being called "morally corrupt"? 
Why are we subjected to 1876 parliamentary rules unknown to most commoners?  
Why don't we wear white powdered wigs with mouches.

Why is an executive committee of only 5 members authorized to decide on the allocation of large sums of monies to old board and current board members bypassing the approval of the larger 20 + member board? 

Isn't this exactly why DGI almost became extinct to begin with? and if so, why are the ex-officios in attendance allowing this to take place? 

The answer to at least one of my question became clear during my second meeting... Bottom line, If you dare to question motives, reasoning or secret deliberations, and if someone does not like your "insolence" in your questioning of their behavior,  they will invoke some obscure motion only known to the seasoned non-profit professional deceivers, and instantly shut you up...

So they shut you up but keep your money! 

Do you understerdandeth me? 
You better, because half the current board (including me) still does not know what the fuck happened, or even how they voted. I voted "Nay"... which means no... I think. 

I am righteous but i firmly believe that If you are going to take public funds, then, you must be accountable to the people you take money from...and that is us...all of us, Greensboro tax payers.

I therefore recommend the following 21th century honorable behavior and guidelines. You can call it my own righteous bylaws...

First ...  Recognize that the funds you receive are in fact not yours to distribute as you wish, and then, say Thank You ! 

Then observe the following:

- As it is 2014, all meetings should be recorded with digital devices  and not, "penned by quill? conveniently editable" minutes... You say it , you own it!

- All communications should adhere to Public record laws...You write it, you speak it,  you own it!

- One entity and one entity only, with no obscure foundation, refuge or shelter...You don't need it unless you intend to deceive and defraud! (and don't give me the tax deduction bullshit excuse...obviously not affecting Grassroots productions)

- Board Members are only special in their own minds... All meeting (including executive committee meetings) should be digitally recorded and open to the public... period!

- Do not hire consultants simply to cover your ass... Grow some balls and assume your leadership position and please, please, please, don't hire a consultant to hire a consultant ! You may end up looking stupid.

- Do not ask your new membership to perpetuate your culture of deception and secrecy... 
If the public can't know, then you should not be doing it, and you should certainly not take public monies!

- Do not include The Sanders, Alstons,  Carrolls or Carroll's employees in any of them...they will only use their extensive experience and access to further penetrate us serfs.

- You don't need a PR firm... Obviously did not work out so well for the International Civil rights Museum! Be honest and forthcoming. 

- You don't need ex officios...You want a meeting, then schedule an appointment ! 

- Finally the diversity of your board should be representative of the city overall demographics and should include diversity in gender, race, age, affluence and socio economics... A picture is worth a thousand word so be on the lookout for the upcoming DGI board photo.


  1. Look for a few new faces at the next meeting. Okay, so my face isn't new but it will be there.

  2. There's no legal requirement for most of this, but as a longtime reporter on/student of how nonprofits go wrong (and I see some of the seeds of every failed nonprofit I've ever known in some of the ongoing practices described herein), I'd have to say that what you're recommending here comes darned close to best practices.