Real Board Solutions - Advising Chief Staff Officers and Board of Directors ||


A Message From Terry


September is here. It’s time for renewal and energy for many organizations. Some have done planning over the summer are getting ready to put plans into action. There are so many opportunities, and limited time and resources; it is important to prioritize. The one thing we can all agree on - if the directors are unclear about their roles and responsibilities, it’s time for a professional board orientation. Likewise, if you have no strategic plan, or have previously decided to do some governance reorganization, or a review perhaps it’s time to consider that. You may find some enthusiastic directors or senior staff who wish to veer off course on special projects, however let's refocus their energies on the core board functions and follow the strategic plan.

This month’s newsletter contains a great article on board reorganization, and two informational articles. The first is ensuring your D & O insurance is appropriate, a critical area for all organizations governed by a Board of Directors. The second is another growing trend in our unique sector, the use of an AMC (Association Management and Services Company).

The newsletter concludes with information on the British Columbia Societies Act White Paper including the positive actions by one of British Columbia’s high performing Associations.

Terry Clark

Protecting Your Personal Assets: D&O Liability Insurance

By Lee Fulsher

Despite ones commitment to their cause, many Not-For-Profit Directors and Officers are unaware of the legal ramifications of their work and the possibility of being held personally liable. As a Director or Officer of a Not-For-Profit Organization your personal assets are exposed to risk related to your duties and responsibilities.

The basic responsibility of Directors is to represent the interest of the organization, their members and their constituencies in directing the affairs of the organization. There are three (3) basic duties:

Diligence: to act reasonably, prudently, in good faith and with a view to the best interests of the organizations and its members

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Picture of Lee Fulsher

Lee Fulsher, BA, CAIB
Account Manager
Shaw Sabey & Associates Ltd.

What is an Association Management Company or AMC?

By Aila Karpio

Association management companies have been around for a long time. However, they may not all be called AMCs, but for instance administrative support or service providers, or use a generic name like “associates” or “group.” Many meeting and conference management companies also offer association management services to their clients. And there are many freelance administrators who started by working part-time for one not-for-profit, gradually added more clients and grew to an association management company.

An association management company (AMC) is not a B2B firm but a professional service company that specializes in providing management services to associations and other not-for-profits on a fee-for-service basis. An AMC can be a full-service organization supporting a board of directors in running their not-for-profit and implementing their strategic plan. They can also be an organization that offers various support services in a customized program, depending on the society’s needs.

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Picture of Aila Karpio

Aila Karpio, CMM
Spets Association Management Ltd.

Time to Re-Structure Your Governance?

For a variety of reasons, a growing number of associations are restructuring governance to increase their efficiency. Some association executives and volunteers take the plunge once they realize things aren’t running smoothly as they once did. Others do so as a result of declining membership and decreased revenues.

According to Glen Tecker, there are two signs that it’s time to rethink association structure and governance. The first is a decrease in membership, a financial crisis, or a decline in participation in association activities. The second, says Tecker, “is an impression that the organization is losing it’s energy and attractiveness….Some of that will be anecdotal evidence, such as comments you get from people, or comments you used to get but aren’t getting any longer.”

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Coming Events

Terry Clark will be speaking at these upcoming events:

Volunteer Futures 2014 Conference
Changing the Conversation

September 25th & 26th
Executive Airport Plaza Hotel, 7311 Westminster Hwy, Richmond BC
Terry's presentation will include:
The Eye of the Storm – The Balancing Act For Non-Profits
As the staff leader of your association, does it sometimes feel like you’re flying the plane and building it at the same time? You’re not alone. Being a Volunteer Manager, Coordinator, Executive Director, Board Member etc. in the non-profit world is a real balancing act. Using simple evaluation tools, learn how you and your board members can work together to ensure you’re all working towards the same outcome, understand the importance of succession planning to the future of your organization, and how you can engage your board members so they’re contributing at the highest level.

Strategic Planning for Boards
Two-Day Course Exploring Effective Strategic Planning

November 4th & 5th
Metropolitan Hotel, 645 Howe Street, Vancouver BC
Course & Registration Info

Closing Thoughts

As many of you know, the British Columbia Government are in the final processes of preparing a new Societies Act. Leading stakeholders have been asked to prepare submissions. A leader in this process has created a task force to provide feedback - the BC Chapter of the Canadian Society of Association Executives CSAE-BC. CSAE provides the environment, knowledge and resources its members need to develop excellence in not-for-profit leadership through education, networking, advocacy, information and research. The focus is to create member value and benefits that in turn contribute to creating a stronger society for Canadians.

Join the conversation on the open LinkedIn group.

Next month’s newsletters articles will feature evaluation. I thought you may enjoy this one…………….

Association Life

About Terry Clark

Terry J. Clark CAE, the Founder and President of Real Board Solutions is a results-oriented, not-for-profit professional who has a unique background and skill set that volunteer board members and their staff truly appreciate.

For the past 19 years Terry has advised hundreds of not-for-profit Boards of Directors and their senior staff members. As past Executive Director with a high profile business association, Terry has also served as an interim Executive Director with eight organizations.

His consulting practice focuses on executive search, Board development, strategic planning, operational reviews, executive director compensation and mentorship/coaching. He has provided those services to not-for-profits in virtually every not-for-profit sector in Western Canada, North West Territories, the Yukon and California.

Terry is a Certified Association Executive (CAE), a Past Area Governor of Toastmasters International and was educated at the University of British Columbia. He possesses leading-edge Non Profit "best practices" and combines them with real life experiences to provide not-for-profits Boards and their staff with real solutions.

In 2013 the Canadian Society of Association Executives presented Terry with the prestigious ACE Award (Association Cornerstone of Excellence) in the ‘Above and Beyond’ Category.

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