Though Naturist Legacy Inc. is officially a non-profit corporation, it's still at its core a business, and it must be managed like one. Any business venture, no matter what kind, dies if it's not properly managed. Some poorly managed businesses die fast, some die slow, but they all meet the same fate. The main reason why small businesses fail can be specifically pinpointed: poor planning. The good news is that poor planning is completely avoidable. Once you know what kinds of planning you should do, and once you have the right people doing it, it's then just a matter of getting the job done. Careful and deliberate planning is the rule for Naturist Legacy's board. Winter months, for example, are never set aside as idle time. Instead, planning, discussions, negotiations and meetings take place....SOURCE: These excerpts are from the "Naturist Legacy Inc. Business Fundamentals Guide" (PDF). I co-authored and edited this important document. It was published in February 2013.
In order for an organization to be successful, many different skill sets must be in place along with the right resources in cash, materials and equipment. Naturist Legacy was very fortunate because the ingredients needed to create our "recipe for success" all came together in the right place and at the right time. They came together when we needed them the most.
Any good chef will tell you that having the right people in the kitchen — that is, people who can actually cook and who can actually make recipes work — is and always will be the key to culinary success. Managing a business is no different. Naturist Legacy Inc. must always have the right "cooks" on our board of directors with the right skills to make our recipe for business success work. Our by-laws ensure that the majority of board members will always have extensive business experience. This is another key element to hold our future secure. The primary goal of any board of directors is to ensure the survival and health of our corporation, first and foremost. We are meeting that primary duty....
Naturist Legacy Inc. is a non-profit (non-share) corporation. No one "owns" Naturist Legacy Inc. It's governed by a board of directors (elected by its membership), who are in turn governed by the corporation's by-laws (approved by its membership)....
The board has a duty to exercise due diligence in overseeing the activities of the corporation. Its required to act in good faith and in the best interest of the organization. Board members are tasked not to act as they would personally, but to act as Naturist Legacy Inc. would and should — that is, for its sake, not theirs. In other words, Naturist Legacy's agenda and best interests are paramount, and not those of the board. It takes reflection and effort in order to be sure that members of the board are always separating the two.
Directors on the board may be held liable for failure to act as stated under a statute, or for the non-compliance of the organization with a statute. For example, directors may be liable for mismanagement, financial losses or nonperformance. It's also important to note that directors can be held personally liable. Ignorance is not a defense. Resignation is not necessarily a defense. Board indemnity may not be enough.
The board manages risk tolerance for the corporation. Risk tolerance describes the amount of risk that the organization is willing to assume. It has two key components: appetite for risk and capacity for risk. Risk management weighs potential opportunities against any adverse effects. There are essentially four ways to manage risk: avoidance, transferance, mitigation or acceptance.
We must constantly remind ourselves that Naturist Legacy is greater than any one person or any one personal cause. The corporation and its success always need to come first. We should all share this mindset, in fact, since it is this overarching priority that has provided us with the opportunity to practice naturism on our land....
Quoting from the 2012 Naturist Legacy Inc. By-laws:
16(e) Those persons seeking election to the position of director will be required to demonstrate and fulfill certain skill sets and working criteria that will be predetermined by the standing board of directors, as they are needed to fulfill the working mandate of the corporation. The corporation, through its nominating officer, will disclose and make available such criteria in reasonable time that the nominating officer may find suitable candidates. For the good of the corporation, the majority of directors shall at all times be comprised of individuals possessing extensive business experience, briefly defined as:SOURCE: This excerpt is from the 2012 Naturist Legacy Inc. By-laws (PDF).(1) Having worked in a management or professional position within the private or corporate sector, and/or
(2) Having owned or operated a successful company, and
(3) Possessing direct experience with and understanding of the financial, accounting, marketing and operational functions of a corporation or private sector organization or business.