Governance

Raising money can pose tough ethical dilemmas. Luckily, guidance is available to help you discern right from wrong. 

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People came from across the country to celebrate the farewell concert of the Dale Warland Singers. What can we learn from a chorus that achieves the pinnacle of aristic acclaim when it decides to close its doors after 31 years—what is the cost of excellence and when is it time to say goodbye?

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Are you frustrated by your board's effectiveness in raising dollars? Finding the right board leaders can yield rich dividends. We explore some of the best techniques for getting your board 'on board'.

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Developing a dynamic board requires identifying a pool of strong candidates, the ability to select the right ones for your organization, and an effective board orientation. It is also important to engage and educate your trustees, to have an effective board rotation plan, to ensure that your representation is diverse, and to evaluate performance so that your board improves with age. And of course, it is always important to show your appreciation to the trustees who give your arts organization its special personality.

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Choruses undergo many transitions in their life span—founder transitions, music director transitions, transitions from volunteer to paid staff. Perhaps the most delicate of these important transitions is the evolution from a singer board to a community board. This shift from a board comprised predominately of singers who have responsibility for every facet of the organization to a governing body with broad community representation can be both a challenging and lengthy process.

Smooth Sailing or Rough Seas?

What image comes to mind when you hear the term founder transition? Do you think tempest? Do you think sunset cruise? During my work as an arts management consultant I have encountered many organizations navigating a founder transition. This experience has given me a great deal of respect for those who have made successful founder transitions and is the basis for the observations and suggestions I share with organizations facing this important evolution.

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There’s a good chance that, like many nonprofits, you aren’t happy with your attempts to achieve diversity. If your best-intentioned efforts are failing, consider these 10 steps to promoting inclusion on your board.

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Few performing arts organizations need to be told they are unique. To start with, the leadership structure of performing arts groups is as distinctive from other nonprofits as performing arts groups are from each other. While most nonprofits divide leadership between the board and the chief executive, performing arts organizations include an artistic director and distribute leadership responsibility within a triad.

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You may think that choruses are immune from the transformations that will result from the business and ethics crises that beset politicians and corporations. Far from it. Ethics touches every element of a modern chorus—including board, management, artists, and audience.

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Ask these seven questions to start laying the foundation for an ethics program for your chorus, as recommended in "A New Ethics Environment" by Michael Daigneault, Esq.

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