Category Archives: Non-Profit Orgs

On a dark and stormy night…

TakingNoteI don’t know, I just felt like titling the post like that. It’s my blog, I don’t have to explain.

Where to begin, The club stuff is coming to an end. I have to admit that feels good. The Steam Faire stuff is starting to pick up, this is also good. I actually don’t have a lot to post tonight. I just wanted to offer a brief update.


Today, where to begin

FlightPlanningFor starters, today is my wife and my 15th anniversary. Though I know many people who have been together for longer, in todays society it seems like this is longer than most. Not that I’m lookin’ to get out mind you, I lover her more every day. So I have been thinking about her more than usual the last few days. I am feeling a little clingy today.

After coffee this morning with the Mrs. I went up to Alameda/Oakland to met with someone from the club and pick up mail at the PO Box. The person I was meeting with, is someone I have been butting heads with for a while now. That actually went well. I picked up the mail then headed back to the South Bay.

When I got into San Jose I meet with a friend and business supplier, we talked about a deal I facilitated for him and some mutual projects I have been poking at lately. I always like going to see him, he has a great work ethic and outlook on life. I love to steer business his way.

After that, I headed home. I have been catching up on my own blogs and those of friends. There have been several good developments in the SteamFaire project that have come about via email. The registered user list on has grown to 34, not bad for a few weeks in existence. I have some emails to get out and there is some web site work on a couple of domains that need to get done before the day is up. Now that I have had a break I guess I should get back to work. 😉


Annual Meeting

TakingNoteYesterday was the clubs annual meeting. This event has several things going on but the primary function is the annual membership meeting where the members vote on the new or continuing board of directors members for the next 2 year term.

I had some work to do before, at, and after the meeting. I wrapped up the work today. So now I can jump back into the world and get some posting done.

But for now I shall bid you adieu.


Long story short

01_Currency_SymbolsYesterday was a strange day. I went to a meeting for a contract renewal. There have been some personality conflict issues over the last few months and I was under the impression that the contract was not going to be renewed. In fact it was renewed, and modified with an unsolicited 10% increase!

In this unstable economy it is nice to have annual contracts, even if they have quarterly reviews. All of my other contracts are month-to-month which makes things a bit too loosey-goosey for my tastes.

Any way, the big nut is covered. Today, it’s off to Maker Faire for a bit of steamy goodness.


Duty of Office

Image from the website
Image from the website

In the world of Non-Profits Duty of Office is not the driving force behind action as it is in the privet sector. If a board of directors or corporate officer in any active company had an attendance of less than 50%, they would be gone. It’s that simple. In an NP it is not unheard of to find board members with a 20-30% attendance record, that is to say that THEY ARE THERE only 20-30% of the time! That sucks. This is not the norm but it does happen.

It is understandable that things do come up, emergencies occur, and people have forgotten things before. The issue is when regularly scheduled meetings have been established and the attendance is still at such a low level. Confirmation notice of a regular meeting day and time is a courtesy. If it is in writing months in advance, and it has been talked about on several occasions throughout the month, it is common knowledge. The meeting will occur, unless otherwise notified.

I understand that life intervenes now and then necessitating a change of plans. When the general attendance of half a board of directors is below 50% and they are not doing anything the rest of the month for the organization this argument has little sway.

As you may have guessed, a meeting was planned, I prepared, at length, and was notified 2 hours before the meeting, that it was not going to happen because over half the board would not be in attendance.

I titled this entry as I did, because the concept of Duty of Office is big deal. This responsibility is Duty, in the legal sense. When you accept a post in governance you have a Duty to act on the best interest of the organization and its membership. Failure take this Duty seriously is a breach of Duty. This breach may, or may not, also be a breach of Fiduciary Responsibility.

In the private sector business is just that, business. It seems that in the small (under $2.5M annual gross) non-profit sector, the assumption is that “non-profit” is an operationally edict. It is not. NP is a tax status and nothing else. Poor management would not be tolerated in a for profit business, nor should it be in a non-profit one.

You may have noticed that this is an issue that sticks in my craw. I love working with NP organizations. They do a lot of good for the community. The problem arises when they don’t take the job seriously, “it’s just a non-profit”.