Tri-Valley Foundation vacates headquarters on Stoneridge Drive
Original post made on Jul 6, 2012
Read the full story here Web Link posted Friday, July 6, 2012, 7:58 AM
on Jul 6, 2012 at 10:24 am
Dave Walden is a registered user.
A couple of thoughts emerge from this article. What was the board doing to have this happen to all of the small charities that TVCF was supposed to be helping? If everything that is in this article is true then the board may be grossly deficient in their job. Secondly, are we allowing boards of directors to operate without good training? I know that there are "schools" that can teach a board how to operate as a responsible group to oversee an organization. That being written, I have been on many boards and never been offered the opportunity to be taught what to look for as a board member. This kind of problem is happening far to frequently and maybe we need a regulatory organization to oversee the boards - this hurts my conservative nature but maybe it needs to be done. Another question is about the directors insurance. Does it apply if the director is negligent in their duties? And who decides what is negligent?
This whole thing is a mess and never should have happened. How many dreams of organizations that deposited their funds with TVCF have been wiped out because the board members were negligent in their duties or proper training was not implemented to catch wrongful acts? This has to stop and every board of directors of every non-profit needs to get training for their board.
on Jul 6, 2012 at 11:09 am
Interesting quote from the auditor, ""As of June 30, 2009, the foundation had a decrease in total in net assets of $550,963. As a result of these deficits, restricted funds from agency funds were used for working capital purposes with the donor's consent."
That means the Board, which included Ron Hyde at the time, knew about restricted funds being raided. I wonder if any board members checked with the donor's to make sure they really gave their consent. Or did the board even read the auditor reports. David is right that most board members do not have the background at all, or training, to understand financials and audit reports. Not just boards of non-profits like this but I believe this is the case of our elected boards also (e.g., school boards). For the public boards, you can see on TV that the board members just gloss over the details, partially because the employees try to confuse everybody and overwhelm them with information. We see this for public meetings but the same things can go on at non-profit board meetings, as we have seen here. I doubt there were many accountants/CPAs on this foundation board. I feel it is important to have accountants on these boards and I will lump into that category engineers as they are curious by nature and want to understand the data and they have the training to break things down so that the data is understandable. Not saying the whole board needs to be filled with people of these positions but there should be some people on the board who can understand the financials and get into the details.
Whenever an employee of a public or private board, or a board member tells another board member that they are micromanaging and they should trust the employees, that should be a red flag. The boards are responsible and they should have an understanding of the details and ask the tough questions. They should not just trust, but rather verify.
Interesting if you watch the school board meetings, the one people who asks the most questions, Valerie Arkin, has an MBA. The others on the board and staff members try to silence her. The others would rather the board meetings be a meeting of cheerleading of the staff members instead of doing the real work and asking questions.
on Jul 6, 2012 at 11:23 am
This never would have happened in the private sector. Just another reason to lower our taxes to keep regulators out of our life. The tide is rising.