It's Always Deeper Than It Looks

Tuesday August 4, 2020 comments Tags: nonprofit, accounting, mission, vision, tools, infrastructure, systems, capacity building, goverance

Any accounting, business or tax advice in this here podcast is not intended as a thorough in depth analysis of your specific issues. It's not a substitute for a formal opinion. It is not good enough to avoid tax related penalties. Got to tell you this because don't want y'all coming for me.  Have you been wondering how the strategic plan and your finances work together? Join me on Tuesday, August 11th at 1:00 PM MT for an intense one hour session, where we will dive into your vision for your organization for the next three years and develop an outline to meet those goals and what the finances mean for that? So what systems are you going to need to have in place? What financial markers should you have? Be sure to sign up in advance so that you can get any pre-work materials that we send out so that you can make the best of our time together. Details to sign up will be in the show notes. Welcome to this series with Rachel Miller-Bleich. If you want the full episode head over to my website; otherwise, here's a snippet.

Chyla Graham:

Yeah. I feel like you and I and so many others are just part of that behind the scenes. This needs to happen. I know it doesn't look nice and pretty or sound fun, but it just makes things so much easier later down the road. Can you tell us a little bit about a time when an organization may have thought, "Hey, we're getting into this thing and it's just about getting the minutes done," but they realized it was something so much more, it was so much more than just let's make sure the bylaws are accurate?

Rachel Miller-Bleich:

One example that I was thinking about earlier today that it might be answering a different question that you're going to ask. But I don't want to name names about previous organizations.

Chyla Graham:

All right.

Rachel Miller-Bleich:

I will mention I worked on standing up the board of a charter school once, and it was interesting how much learning went into something as simple as amending the bylaws. There was a lot of legal regulatory elements that, on the surface you think, "Oh, we're just going to stand up a board, we're going to identify all the people who are going to be on it, and there you go." But what we found was between the corporate structure as well as some of the legal regulatory, and then some of the broader political aspects, there was a lot of synthesizing that needed to go on that involved some rather complex amendments to the bylaws that required training and identifying how do you set this board up to obey sunshine laws? It was an interesting opportunity that I really learned from it, and I think the organization certainly learned that it's never really as simple as it might seem.

Rachel Miller-Bleich:

And that's why you really do need to dig in, pay attention to those details and really embrace the idea that, yeah, bylaws are binding. I worked with a president who was also an attorney and she said, she's like, "You do realize these are binding and we need to be ready to fully execute them?" And I'm like, "That is music to my ears." I really do appreciate that when you embrace that, when you understand that, you need to be able to deliver on what you're building, that there are a lot of stakes and implications behind it. Then you're going to set yourself up for success, and it's especially important when it's a new organization.

Chyla Graham:

Yeah. I like to say words mean things. I'm like, "You can't just say it because what are we truly saying, and what does that mean?" Sometimes it's a matter of when you're working with new people who've never set up a new organization, and providing that level of education to say, "Okay, so we're not going to say it that way, because this is that broader implication that that would have."  As you work on your organization's governance, have you found that it is deeper than it looks? Follow Rachel on LinkedIn.


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