Monday, February 03, 2014
NonProfits Need Tighter Scrutiny
First, salaries need to be monitored more closely by the state. Former Properties of Merit Executive Director Sam Bennett once commanded an annual salary of $110,000 at a nonprofit whose annual budget was only $351,000.
Second, service on a non-profit board should never be a vehicle for personal gain. It should instead be an opportunity for a director to give back to the community/institution/organization. When personal profit becomes the motive, board decisions are skewed in bizarre and negative ways. If personal gain is a by-product of "good works" on a non-profit board, that board member should donate back the personal gain.
Third, service on a non-profit board should be term limited. This prevents any one incumbent from becoming an unequal force and influence over other board members. It also prevents the non-profit from becoming too comfortable and chummy. Board members should be prohibited from advertising membership on a board in any way that might lead to personal financial gain. They should also be barred from accepting contracts with or having a financial interest in any entity that does business with the nonprofit.
Donches and his supporters have pointed to a bad economy as a reason for his organization's failure. But over less time and in the same economy, Artsquest has blossomed on the City's south side. Even though its focus has been music, it has done more to preserve this area's industrial history than the foundering Museum. It is the logical and proven choice for preserving Bethlehem Steel history, and can accomplish that without giving any golden parachutes to the former steel execs whose bad business decisions resulted in the collapse of the area's largest employer.