Category Archives: Board & Governance

Boards adding value

by Jini Stolk I had a conversation this morning with a long-time arts board member who feels that now, just as when he first started, most board members don’t understand what they’re supposed to be doing. He personally took the time to mentor new board members and his board developed, over time, a detailed description […]

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Coming up at Creative Champions

by Jini Stolk Creative Champions, Toronto Arts Foundation’s arts board network, continues its exciting line-up of workshops and events in 2017. We started on February 7th with a special session on governance and fundraising at Artist-run Centres, arts service and membership organizations. It was a hot topic: people braved the year’s slickest ice storm to […]

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Skills we don’t know we have

by Jini Stolk I hadn’t thought about it in these terms until I read this brief post in Nonprofit Quarterly. Could it be that the success of many arts managers rests on an unrecognized skill – that of being dauntlessly determined to succeed no matter how difficult and terrifying the situation? It sounds right to […]

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Why it matters

by Jini Stolk Last week’s Get on Board workshop (October 26, 5:30 – 8 pm at the Textile Museum) was a rare opportunity for members of arts boards to hear directly from a major funder about the importance and impact of good governance. Claire Hopkinson, Toronto Arts Council and Toronto Arts Foundation Director and CEO, […]

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Spotting the red flags

by Jini Stolk Goodwill Industries Toronto’s sudden collapse after 80 years of providing work, training and other opportunities to people in need, especially those with disabilities, opened the doors to a flood of criticism and blame (even while their stores’ and workplaces’ actual doors were shuttered and locked tight.) I wrote about Goodwill’s lack of […]

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Board members as donors

by Jini Stolk Should each board member make a personal donation to your organization? Yes. How much should they give? From each according to their ability… I’m not sure why anyone would want to join an arts board without being excited enough about the work to want to personally support it, and bring friends, family […]

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Creating a network of champions

by Jini Stolk It was exciting to be part of the first advisory meeting of the Toronto Arts Foundation’s new Creative Champions Network. Even more exciting was the enthusiasm for bringing arts board members together to learn and connect, and the great new ideas that were generated. The Network’s goal, under the Honorary Chairmanship of […]

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Planning to survive

by Jini Stolk I confess. Sometimes I’ve felt good about the fact that Canada has far fewer big charitable scandals than the United States. Whether the story’s about financial malfeasance (United States Navy Veterans’ Association), shady use of donated funds (Wounded Warrior Project), dramatic loss of trust and supporters (Susan G. Komen for the Cure) […]

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by Jini Stolk We all make mistakes, but these are some I hope we can avoid in 2016. Dropping past board members like hot potatoes. A number of people have told me they’ve been mystified when a charity they’ve been deeply involved with seems to forget them when they leave the board. Communication dwindles…invitations dry […]

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Financial leadership for Executive Directors

by Jini Stolk Fair is fair. In my last posts I wrote about the Board’s financial responsibilities – so I’d like to say a few words on the Managing or Executive Director’s crucial role in financial strategy and oversight. The invaluable Nonprofit Quarterly published (on Christmas day four years ago, I just noticed) an exceptionally helpful […]

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