Friday, December 23, 2005

Final thoughts on Roberta's Rules

Okay, just some final thoughts on this book before I throw it into the drop box. Really a good way to summarize her approach is to say it is a softer, more relationship-driven model than Robert's. This approach seems advantageous to nonprofit groups because a lot of times, people who volunteer in these organizations are trying to connect with a community and it's good to try and work together to maintain these positive working relationships.

However, Roberta's does not substitute for Robert's -- sometimes she admits this freely, other times she doesn't. Roberta's is more an approach to meetings rather than a parliamentary system. You could--and probably should--develop governance policies that would be based on some of these practices, but using this approach solely would leave you with little recourse if things really went south. Like I said, the author admits this sometimes, but other times she'd like to push her system.

Like I mentioned yesterday, though, I am going to go ahead and buy this one and keep it on the shelf the next time I am needing to brush up on board process. This and the real Robert's would really hook you up.

Here's list of useful reading I pulled from the book's references:

How to Form a Nonprofit Corporation in All Fifty States. Mancuso (2000)

Terms of Engagement: Changing the Way We Change Organizations. Axelrod (2000)
The definitive guide for anyone who wants to start a nonprofit organization, this book shows step by step how to form and operate a tax-exempt corporation in all 50 states. It includes complete instructions for obtaining federal 501(c)(3) tax exemption and for qualifying for public charity status with the IRS. It also includes essential forms both as tear-outs and on disk such as Incorporation Checklist, Incorporation Contact Letter, Name Availability letter, Application for Reservation of Corporate Name, Articles Filing Letter, and Bylaws. (1997, 368 pages, softcover with disk, ISBN 0-87337-451-7)
Your Roles and Responsibilities as a Board Member. Carver and Carver (1996)

The Policy Sampler: A Resource for Nonprofit Boards. BoardSource (2000).

"The Tyranny of Structurelessness." Berkeley Journal of Sociology, 1970, 3, 151-164. Freeman

All Hands on Board: The Board of Directors in an All-Volunteer Organization. Masaoka (1999)

Standard Code of Parliamentary Procedure
4th ed. AIP (2000)