Mike Burns


Nonprofit Board and Executive Director Partnership, Building, Funding, Case Study, Governance


The following case, a moment in time for a 25+ year-old nonprofit, features a smart, committed, driven, savvy, and uber persuasive nonprofit founder/executive who decided it was time to expand the building. Also featured: a board that has never been more than a figurehead to the executive and the public. This case is intended to highlight that the popular thinking about board and executive as partners may be no more than a false narrative throughout the nonprofit sector that should in-fact be rewritten to reflect more of a reality. As a subplot, this case acknowledges that when a board cannot or will not support the executive as desired, the executive gains the freedom to both govern and manage.