I have been involved in not-for-profit work for many years; served on committees, boards and, of course, volunteered and most importantly (to them), have written checks... I decided burning bridges in Tulsa would not be a good idea so I never posted my feelings about non-profit folks but since I'm moving away and do not plan to return, I figure what the hell.
Here is a little insight about the non profit Board of Directors:
Board of Directors: A BOD is just that, a group of people whose job it is to dictate the direction in which the organization for which they represent will move. Board of Directors are the last people who should dictate anything. Members of a BOD have their own stressful job that puts food on the table and a shiny BMW in the garage They don't have time to dick with the organization which they represent. Of course there are the select few who do. These few are actually just in training for corporate BOD positions as they do not have their head up their own ass. Let me further break this down and describe the types of BOD members:
The Wannabe: This BOD member is on the Board because his or her boss asked them to be on the Board to represent his or her bosses company. The Wannabe will do as little as possible and take as much recognition as possible. Wannabe's are generally young, middle management individuals who have very little extra money to throw at the organization to help support the collective BOD's harebrained ideas.
The NumberCruncher: Here's a BOD member every CEO, accountant and/or office manager is scared of. This is the guy or gal who will figure out that numbers do not match up and budgets are in the shitter. This is the individual who will NEVER be invited to serve as the President of the Board of Directors because that will give he or she even more access to the books. As much as the books are cooked, manipulated or whatever you want to call it in the non-profit arena, the last thing the top officer in the organization wants is for the volunteer NumberCruncher to see something besides a cliffnotes version of the books.
The Activist: This is the lady on the BOD who thinks she's owed something by the organization due to something that happened to her at some point in her life. Perhaps this person was a recipient of services of the organization... The Activist will throw her experiences in the charity employee's faces on a regular basis in order to not better the organization, but rather to get her way. The Activist pulls more weight on the BOD than perhaps even the President of the Board. Sometimes, The Activist is named Kristin Daffern of KleinCo in Tulsa... steer clear of anyone with this name.
The Recognitionizer: The Recognitionizer is a kinder, gentler BOD member; usually a small business owner. This is a member who lays low and does not create conflict nor get involved any other way but financially. This member will only participate in sponsorships of organization events or other "naming" opportunities which might further his/her business.
The Token Attorney: Here is the staple of every BOD - The Token Attorney. This is the Board member who never gives and rarely gets involved. He is tighter with his money than the "Token Doctor" (discussed in a moment) and only contributes when called upon by the President of the BOD. Generally, the Token Attorney is needed when an employer/employee relationship goes bad or when a business contract needs to be reviewed. This member is not necessary for any other reason aside from free legal advise.
The Token Doctor: Please review "The Token Attorney" regarding the likelihood of raising funds from these tightwads... The Token Doctor is a highly important position for the non-profit organization to fill on its BOD. A doctor on the BOD is the organization's way of saying in very few words "we're valid". Unfortunately, this validity is at the doctors expense... Since doctors are entirely too busy to deal with the petty little problems annoying the lesser society who run the organization, their names slowly get dragged in to programs and services offered by the organization without their full awareness. If you are a Dr. on a BOD, watch your back... It is happening to you right now - trust me...
The Real Deal: Now I get to talk about the the 10% of a BOD that actually gets it. These are individuals who work just as hard for the organization as the employees and will jump when asked because they believe in the cause. These BOD members are also the most abused of all. A non-profit will suck the life out of anyone it can get its hands on. Employees have no choice, they are paid by the organization and that is how they put scraps on the table and have a Ford Escort in the garage. If a BOD member shows extreme interest in some aspect of the organization, said organization will tap that poor sap for everything he or she has. Be it money, experience, time, etc.
This is all I wrote although I think I had more material at the time. Props to Kristin Daffern for making my shit list back then. I still don't think I'd swerve to miss her if she stumbled out into the street in front of me. Hope she searches the internet for her name some day. Thank god for freedom of speech.