Event offers non-profits opportunity to learn more about Board responsibilities

This is part of a weekly series that highlights a grant provided by the Foundation.

According to Tish Mogan, a strong Board of Directors is a key to keeping operations running smoothly and avoiding problems at a non-profit organization.

Tish Mogan, Standards and Excellence Officer at the Pennsylvania Association of Nonprofit Organizations, will talk about the role of board members at a seminar on Monday, Oct. 3.

“The one question that can be asked of every single non-profit scandal that ever happened is ‘Where was the board?’ ” Mogan said. “What is needed to strengthen non-profit board operations is both education and a commitment to look at strengthening the accountability and effectiveness ‘culture’ of the board.”

During “Governing Boards: Avoiding Risks and Maximizing Opportunities” Mogan, Standards for Excellence Officer at the Pennsylvania Association of Nonprofit Organizations (PANO), will speak about these very issues. This training event will take place on Monday, Oct. 3, from 4:30 to 7:30 p.m., at the Pennsylvania Military Museum in Boalsburg. Multiple board members and administrators from local non-profits are encouraged to attend.

“One of the weakest points in the non-profit sector across the United States is the correct understanding of the role of the governing board,” Mogan said. “Many board members do not understand that they are legally responsible for the organization they oversee, nor do they understand the areas in which oversight is critical in order to ensure accountable operations.”

The seminar will give board members the opportunity to learn to A) recognize the full scope of their fiduciary responsibilities, B) identify tools and practices to manage board operations more effectively, C) examine proactive approaches to management of board/staff issues, and D) do an internal legal audit of an organization.

“Today we have a perfect storm of severe budget cuts on every level of government, more people experiencing needs due to the overall economy, and an increased regulatory environment,” Mogan said. “It is important that the board and staff understand how they can focus on achieving their mission in a challenging environment, and how they do that efficiently and effectively by understanding board and staff roles.”

The Centre County Community Foundation has provided a grant to sponsor this training event, enabling local non-profits to take advantage of special rates. For PANO members, the cost will be $15, plus $10 for each additional person from the same organization. Non-PANO members will pay $30 plus $20 for each additional person from the same organization. The price includes a light dinner.

PANO has offered this program at least 20 times since 2009 in other locations, and Mogan said people have reacted very positively to it, with most of them ranking it at least a 4.7 rating out of 5 for value and content. Feedback from past attendees has included comments that the program provided them with even more quality  information than they expected, and that Mogan is a dynamic speaker who keeps the audience engaged.

Mogan hopes the tools and information provided during this event will enable board and staff members to better understand the responsibilities of the board, and to work together more efficiently.

Interested parties are encouraged to register here as soon as possible. Questions? Call PANO at 717-236-8584.


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