Sunday, November 05, 2006

Governance of charitable institutions

The WSJ had this great article about the Wall Watchers, an organization founded by Howard Leonard which monitors the uses of donations to religious organizations.
Another organization that does important work along these lines is the Better Business Bureau's Wise Giving Alliance. On their website, they have a set of comprehensive guidelines that seek "to ensure that the volunteer board is active, independent and free of self-dealing".
They include:
1. A board of directors that provides adequate oversight of the charity's operations and its staff.
2. A board of directors with a minimum of five voting members.
3. A minimum of three evenly spaced meetings per year of the full governing body with a majority in attendance, with face-to-face participation.
4. Not more than one or 10% (whichever is greater) directly or indirectly compensated person(s) serving as voting member(s) of the board. Compensated members shall not serve as the board's chair or treasurer.

1 comment:

Theo said...

slightly offtopic, but Deloitte has posted a method for governance on another vertical industry: telecom, media and technology.

Typically, TMT-companies are driven by an entrepreneurial spirit. They are characterized as innovative, technologically-complex, flexible and creative organizations. This leads to a culture of high empowerment, decentralized decision-making, and informal and highly flexible communications and procedures.

This poses an interesting paradox: how to remain compliant with corporate governance requirements in organizations that are inherently flexible, creative and innovative?

Full report at http://www.deloitte.com/dtt/article/0,1002,cid%253D152010,00.html?wt.mc_id=nl_nltm15