Comments on: Greg Mortenson’s lessons for non-profit boards Wed, 06 Mar 2013 09:49:44 +0000 hourly 1 By: JonDW Sun, 22 Apr 2012 14:06:51 +0000 As a teacher who used Three Cups of Tea in a reading group, I felt tremendously betrayed to learn that substantive parts of the book were fabricated. It’s not that certain events didn’t happen “exactly as he described”, but that they happened much, much differently and w/out the drama. (I’m thinking, specifically, of how Mortenson “discovered” Korphe.) Once I’ve been deceived by a person, I begin questioning everything else and so I question events in both of his books that I’ve read. Furthermore, I also now question Greg Mortenson’s motivation, no longer seeing it as the phenomenal altruistic endeavor I once saw it to be. Unfortunately, it seems possibly much more selfish and ego driven.

But the commentary is on non-profit boards, not Greg Mortenson. It’s well-written and, from my experience, has great insight and advice. Unfortunately, the non-profits I’ve been associated w/haven’t had the strength to pull together healthy boards like the one described. These are certainly levels to aspire to.

By: GreyMzee Sat, 14 Apr 2012 19:47:15 +0000 Ms Marcus,”largely fabricated” you say.I know Mortenson has admitted that some events did not happen exactly as he described, but your choice of phrase implies that over half of his book is a pack of lies.

What parts of the book have you personally researched have found to be “largely fabricated”?

By: GregZaller Sat, 14 Apr 2012 05:24:07 +0000 I’ve been watching closely the news on Mortenson since 60 minutes and am also very involved in another organization that starts schools in Pakistan.

My belief is that the most important thing for humanitarian organizations to have is a thoughtful long range vision of how their work will play out over time. Most humanitarian organizations focus closely on a specific goal without stepping back to see its effect in the entirety of the situation. I believe this is because of the relationship of the organization to funds and the perceptions of the donors. In all of my reading about Mortenson I never saw the question asked whether his schools taught what would benefit communities at the “end of the road”, as he put it. This is far away from global commerce and where subsistence takes every effort. Building schools alone is not nearly enough. The important question is about what is being taught and how,yet it is the simple notion that brings in the dollars and drives most nonprofits. Distant boards in another country then pay people far away to accomplish their donor’s wishes. In my organization we have turned this literally upside down and assist our school communities to direct their schools to meet their needs. We here help them to earn the expenses and make good decisions and achieve far more lasting benefit with a penny than others can with dollars. I would like to see more boards take this approach.

By: MHodges Fri, 13 Apr 2012 23:20:37 +0000 Why not comment on the Bill Gates Foundation, which has only three family members on the board, Bill & Melinda Gates, and Bill Gates Sr. One look at their recent IRS 990 annual filings is revealing, although regulatory agencies, and watch dog organizations do nothing about organizations that give away so much.

Daniel Borochoff, who directs the charity watchdog group, American Institute of Philanthropy (AIP) and a media critic of Mortenson’s Central Asia Institute, receives a salary of CEO is $ 153,357, out of a total $483,257 in revenue for 2010. That makes his salary a whopping 31.7 % of the AIP total income for one year. The industry ‘accepted’ CEO salary should be no more than standard is 5-8% maximum of total revenue.

AIP is only registered in about three dozen states, even though it solicits in all 50 states. IT is illegal to solicit in a state if the nonprofit is not registered there.

Last year, the IRS revoked registration or shut down approximately 314,000 nonprofits, out of about 1.5 million nonprofits in the U.S.