Whitepaper: The Top Five Governance Issues Facing Nonprofits Today

By Quanda Allen, First Vice President, SunTrust Foundations & Endowments Specialty Practice

“The greatest threat to the not-for-profit sector is the betrayal of public trust.”

Joel Fleishman, Scholar, Author, Professor of Law and Public Policy, and Director of the Heyman Center on Ethics, Public Policy and the Professions, Duke University

What are the most common governance challenges facing nonprofit organizations today? What steps should our leadership and board take to avoid common governance pitfalls? At SunTrust, we often hear organizations grapple with questions related to conflicts of interest, risk management, outcome measurement, investment oversight, and ethics.

Considering several recent examples of nonprofits entangled in scandal, it is prudent that organizations address governance challenges now to avoid potential pitfalls in the future. Empowering nonprofits with information, tools, and resources to overcome these challenges is a vital step to inspiring the highest level of confidence from stakeholders.

1 2012 NACUBO-Commonfund Study of Endowments

2 2007 The Urban Institute Study, Nonprofit Governance in the US

3 Michael Peregine, "Price of Board Inaction: $5.5-Million for One Charity", Chronicle of Philanthropy, January 14, 2013.

4 National Center for Charitable Statistics - nccsdataweb.urban.org/PubApps/profile1.php?state=US

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