“IF YOU KNOW THE WHY, THE HOW IS EASY”
ELIE WIESEL, NOBEL LAUREATE
“Simplify, Simplify, Simplify”
HENRY DAVID THOREAU
WHY BOARDS MATTER
COVID AND NONPROFIT BOARDS
THE NEW NORMAL IS AN UNKNOWN; HOWEVER, WHAT IS KNOWN IS THAT THE MYRIAD WORLD-WIDE STRESSES OF COVID HAVE IMPACTED EVERY PERSON IN EVERY NATION AND WILL CONTINUE TO DO SO FOR A LONG FORESEEABLE FUTURE.
THESE COVID IMPACTS HAVE ALSO DRAMATICALLY AFFECTED ALL NONPROFITS. CULTURAL NONPROFITS, ARE ABLE ONCE AGAIN TO OFFER GROUP INTERACTION AT MUSIC VENUES, MOVIES, THEATERS, MUSEUMS, GALLERIES AND INDIVIDUAL INTERACTIONS OF MUSICIANS, ACTORS, DANCERS, ARTISTS AT ART SCHOOLS, ART RESIDENCIES, ETC. ; HOWEVER EVERY NONPROFIT BOARD IS HAVING TO RECKON WITH THE LASTING SOCIAL, PROGRAMMATIC, OPERATIONAL AND FINANCIAL CHANGES RESULTING FROM THE PANDEMIC.
IN THE BEST OF TIMES, IT REQUIRES A CONSTANT EFFORT AND CONSTANT VIGILENCE TO KEEP A NONPROFIT’S INSPIRATION, VISION, MISSION AND MAGIC UPPERMOST IN ITS CONSCIOUSNESS, IN THE FACE OF ALL OF THE COMPETING QUANTITATIVE REALITIES THAT TOO OFTEN DROWN OUT THE QUALITATIVE VALUES THAT ARE THE NON PROFITS RAISON D’ETRE AND DRAWS TRUSTEES TO CHOOSE TO PARTICIPATE ON ONE BOARD RATHER THAN ANOTHER.
IN THESE POST COVID TIMES, MAINTAINING AND ADVANCING A BOARD’S FOCUS ON SPIRIT, ASPIRATION AND EXCELLENCE IS EVEN MORE IMPORTANT AND MORE CHALLENGING.
WHY BOARDS MATTER IS A 501(c)3 FOUNDED IN 2019 TO OFFER PRO BONO HELP TO NONPROFIT ARTS BOARDS TO STRENGTHEN THEIR COMMITMENT TO THE CORE VALUES OF THE INSTITUTIONS WITH WHICH THEY ARE ENTRUSTED.
AS THE PANDEMIC REDUCED REVENUES, AND INCREASED THE OPERATIONAL COSTS OF ADDRESSING THE PHYSICAL NECESSITIES OF TRYING TO FUNCTION DURING AND SINCE THE PANDEMIC; MANY NONPROFITS HAVE SEEN CONSIDERABLE DEFICITS AND SO THE NEED OF MANY WORTHWHILE ENTITIES FOR INCREASED DONATIONS HAS EXPANDED, AND BUDGETS ARE TOO OFTEN STILL WRITTEN IN RED……CONSEQUENTLY IT BECOMES ALL THE MORE CRITICAL FOR NONPROFIT BOARDS / TRUSTEES TO TRULY UNDERSTANDWHY WE ARE ALL HERE ?
WHY BOARDS MATTER WAS CREATED SPECIFICALLY TO ASSIST BOARDS ADDRESS THIS FUNDAMENTAL QUESTION OF WHY WE ARE ALL HERE ? …..AS COVID MADE THE GOING HARDER, KNOWING WHY WE ARE GOING THERE, MAKES THE GOING EASIER.
OVER 50 YEARS AS AN ARCHITECT, PAINTER, AND TIBETAN BUDDHIST PRACTITIONER, AND OVER THE PAST 35 YEARS FOUNDING AND BUILDING THE NONPROFIT VERMONT STUDIO CENTER [ THE LARGEST INTERNATIONAL ARTISTS AND WRITERS RESIDENCY IN THE U.S. ] I HAVE HAD MANY WONDERFUL MENTORS AND HAVE SHARED THEIR WISDOM AND MY OWN EXPERIENCES BY ASSISTING NUMEROUS ARTS NONPROFITS INFORMALLY. I CREATED WHY BOARDS MATTER TO BE OF SERVICE TO MORE BOARDS, IN A MORE STRUCTURED MANNER, ESPECIALLY IN THESE TRYING TIMES .
IF THE CONTENT OF THIS WEBSITE INTERESTS YOU, PLEASE FEEL FREE TO CONTACT US.
JOHNSON VERMONT 2023
WHYS AND HOWS
Nonprofit boards are created to support the WHYS of inspiration, vision and mission of the organization they serve. While that is their primary responsibility, too often, over time the board’s focus slowly shifts from the WHYS of WHY ARE WE ALL HERE? to the HOWS of operations, management, finance, and development weakening the institution’s focus on its mission.
WHY BOARDS MATTER (WBM) is a nonprofit 501(c)3 that offers the boards of nonprofit art organizations, institutions, and communities WHY ARE WE ALL HERE?, A PRO BONO DAY-LONG FULL BOARD FACILITATED DISCUSSION designed to recharge awareness of and commitment to, the Heart and Art of inspiration, vision and mission.
THE HEART AND ART OF BOARDS
While ideas about the HOWS of policy, finance and governance may vary between trustees, a shared commitment to the WHYS of the nonprofit’s mission is essential. This concordance of core values among the board, along with the core values of each individual trustee, is key to the spirit and success of the nonprofit.
THE HEART AND ART OF TRUSTEESHIP
The HEART of Trusteeship is to cherish the inspiration, aspiration, vision, ideals and mission of the nonprofit with which the board is entrusted and to keep those core values first and foremost.
The ART of Trusteeship is to balance that primary responsibility with the board’s responsibility for governance and fiduciary concerns, using the organization’s vision as a philosophical yet pragmatic guide for the financial health and success of the institution.