Keeping the Faith: Avoiding Mission Drift in Private Foundations

Puzzle pieces form bridgeMy colleague, Michael Bourland and I closed the Texas Bar CLE Governance of Nonprofit Organizations seminar last Friday discussing planning methods for avoiding mission drift in private foundations while also avoiding founder’s syndrome and control of the dead hand.  It isn’t always easy top stay within those two extremes.  Mike has decades (as he likes to remind me) of experience in speaking on vision and passing on vision within an organization and particularly a family organization.  This talk grew from concepts and ideas I’ve had the great fortune to discuss with him over the years.

Here is a link to the paper and the slides.

Resolving Trustee Disputes

Trustee disputeLast week I spoke on the issue of resolving disputes in the boardroom at the Texas Bar CLE Governance of Nonprofit Organizations Seminar. My talk discussed common issues leading to disputes, responses to disputes, when to seek help from a third party (facilitator, mediator, arbitrator) and when litigation may be called for.  The paper for the presentation also discusses the when and how of splitting a private foundation, terminating a private foundation into a donor advised fund, or simply terminating a private foundation. The paper was primarily written by my colleague at Bourland, Wall & Wenzel, Megan Cunningham.

Here are links to the paper and slides.

Nonprofit Compliance with the Texas Business Organizations Code

Stack of binders with magnifying glassA couple of weeks ago I had the privilege of speaking to a group nonprofit leaders during a lunch and learn presentation sponsored by the Nonprofit Management Center of the Permian Basin in Midland, Texas.  I spoke on the structure of the primary statutory law governing nonprofit corporations in the State of Texas (the Texas Business Organizations Code) as well as compliance with that law.  My presentation slides are available here.