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Should the board be notified?

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Should the board be notified?

Our 501(c)(3) no-kill shelter has a 10,000 sq. ft. thrift store. We moved into a new place and opened for business on February 1.  The store looked wonderful, but revenue wasn't what the executive director thought it should be.   (We still do not have an outside sign, have done no advertising other than Facebook, and have not met with all surrounding businesses.)  They fired the manager of 9 years and brought in a new hire. Within her first hour, she told all that she was completely redoing the store.  So she has and it is a "hot mess." 

If the revenues are going down further and the executive director and director of operations continue to do nothing, shouldn't the Board of Directors be notified? I know they are supposed to stay out of operations but this is getting out of hand.

It sounds a little inconsistent to say that the new manager has completely redone the store and that they “continue to do nothing.”  It might not be what you think they ought to do, but it doesn’t sound like “nothing.”  It certainly sounds like having an outdoor sign would be helpful, however.

It is not clear who made the decision to fire the old manager and bring in someone new, but presumably the officers and probably the board were at least aware of that event.  A good board would be receiving regular financial information on its operations, at least quarterly if not monthly.  They should have ample opportunity to review what is going on and what is being done about the situation if it is seriously out of line with what was projected.  I wouldn’t consider that review as getting involved in operations, but as providing general oversight on issues the organization is facing.  If it is as dire a situation as you think, it may be worthwhile to bring the information to the board’s attention before the regular financial reports, and if they don’t pay attention when they get the information in the ordinary course, you can press them on the issue.  You may know more about it than the information they are getting from management.

Tuesday, July 5, 2016


This question raises chain of command issues. The question doesn't specify who the asker is, but the next logical question is, Does the asker go around the Executive Director, the operations director, and the new manager to talk to a board member? This person may be a volunteer or other staff person. A whistleblower policy in place might be helpful, but if not, what's appropriate?

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