Being a nonprofit does not mean you should strive to just be close enough, but it means in all that you do your objective should be to be spot on!
I’d like to just briefly talk about the disclosure you give i.e. the feedback you give to the clients you serve as well as to your donor. What message or messages are you sending to them verbally and non-verbally?
The money a nonprofit receives are funds that are in fact investments made by donors i.e. individuals, foundations, corporations, etc. Receiving these monies requires a heightened sense responsibility not only on how you might spend the money but also to make sure it is managed and accounted for accurately.
If you are honest then you will admit that really being transparent isn’t easy because this means facing a fear that someone is questioning a decision that was made.
However, the real truth is the more you show you are open and willing to seek not just support from donors but corrective criticism the better your overall program will be and the easier it will become to have others accept what you are trying to accomplish.
The IRS has certain rules and regulations that govern what you are required to disclose and how timely you are to be with this information: FAQs About the Exempt Organization Public Disclosure Requirements http://www.irs.gov/charities-non-profits/?id=96430,00.html
However, my comments here are not so much for you to focus just on the actual rules themselves but thinking about your organization’s attitude toward answering questions either from a concerned client that might be using your programs or services or that of a person making a contribution.
Are saying what you mean and really mean what you say? It is easy to get confused especially if the message given is filtered through multiple channels.
If you serve as an executive director of your organization then I urge you to get out of your office daily and do what is known as M.B.W.A. i.e. manage by walking around! You will be amazed at what you learn and your organization will be the better for it.
DISCLAIMER: This information is not intended to provide legal or accounting advice, or to address specific situations. Please consult with your legal or tax advisor to supplement and verify what you learn here.