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Governance — Do People Trust You? Advice for Building Trust and Inspiring Confidence

Governance — Do People Trust You? Advice for Building Trust and Inspiring Confidence 1200 628 Michelle Boyer

By: John R. Stoker

One afternoon as I was passing through the airport on my way home, I ran into a colleague of mine, Stephen M. R. Covey, the author of the book, “The Speed of Trust.”  We stopped and exchanged a few pleasantries. I could tell that he needed to get through security, so I bid him safe travels.

As he was hurrying away, I yelled after him, “I know something faster than the speed of trust.” He yelled back, “What’s that?” I responded, “Distrust.” He laughed as he hurried away and responded, “You’re probably right.”

Think about it for a minute. Some people will trust you from the beginning of your relationship without having any experience with you.  Others won’t trust you no matter what you do; you really have to work to earn their trust. Still others begin their relationship with you in a neutral position. They will wait to see what you say and do before they trust you.

No matter where the trust in any relationship begins, what we know for sure is that it doesn’t take much negative behavior to diminish the trust that people have in you.

Here are a few tips to help you assess your trustworthiness and to increase the confidence people have in you.

Do you walk the talk?

There is probably nothing that erodes trust quicker than saying one thing and then doing another. The first time this happens, people will take a closer look at your behavior. But if it happens repeatedly, people will come to distrust you and not believe anything that you say. You will appear as if you just say what you think people want to hear. This seeming lack of credibility will cause people to question your intentions and can cause lasting damage to your relationships.

What to do? Stop and think about what you are about to say, or what purpose your message needs to convey, and then say what you truly mean. Being deliberate and intentional about your message will increase alignment between your message and your behavior.

Do you keep your commitments?

This is closely associated with the previous question. Sometimes we make commitments and things change. When this happens, it is important to acknowledge your commitment and make necessary adjustments. If you let another commitment take priority over a previous commitment and don’t manage that dynamic, then people will learn to not take you seriously and may not keep their commitments to you.

What to do? Keep a calendar of your commitments and manage them. If something changes, then be sure to communicate those changes and make new arrangements as soon as you can. Don’t blow people off or forget to keep your commitments. Using some kind of planning or calendaring software will help you to keep your commitments while strengthening the trust that others give you.

Is your behavior consistent?

If you have wild mood swings and are unpredictable, your erratic behavior will lead people to distrust you. In one of my first corporate positions, I had a manager who had broad swings in behavior and mood. You never knew if your performance would be celebrated or trashed in front of others. The first person to arrive in the morning would test the waters and then alert everyone at the coffee machine if we could engage with our manager or should make ourselves scarce that day. Consequently, few people felt that they could fully trust him.

What to do? Notice if people approach you and ask for your input or support on their work. If you are not approached by others, perhaps you could find a respected colleague and ask for feedback about how you come across. If someone will be honest with you, listen to what they have to say. Ask for examples and thank them when they finish. If you find that people are unsure about how to approach you, strategize some ways to manage your behavior and mood so it is more predictable and consistent.

Do you misrepresent the truth?

This happens more frequently than people would like to admit. People are often afraid to speak up and tell it like it is, fearing the perceived negative consequences that could occur. This perception will have a negative impact on behavior. When people don’t keep their commitments or meet expectations of performance, then they feel forced to cover their mistakes to justify their behavior. This leads others to avoid interacting with those individuals and to distrust the stories they offer as excuses for their behavior.

What to do? If you find yourself misrepresenting or exaggerating situations, then you are at risk to not be taken seriously and are setting yourself up to be distrusted. Stretching the truth and making excuses can become a habitual response. If this is often your first reaction, recognizing your tendency to do it, determining your motivation behind this response and correcting it will go a long way toward building trust.

Do you withhold information from others?

This is usually a power play of sorts where people make themselves the gatekeeper of what others need to know to do their work. Such behavior leads to frustration on the part of others and also can lead to people not sharing information that you may need. Withholding information also leads people to figure out how to work around you so they have as little interaction as possible.

Sometimes, for legal reasons, you may not be able to tell others what you know. When this is the case and others press you for information, you simply need to tell people that you can’t tell them about a certain situation because of legal ramifications to you and your company.

What to do? Ask people what information they need and, specifically, identify deadlines. Look to offer support and address others’ needs and concerns to increase the success of those that rely on you in some way. When people ask you for information that you can’t share, simply manage the situation and tell them that. They will understand.

Do you gossip about others?

Nothing will erode trust quicker than talking about others behind their back. Unfortunately, people often talk about others rather than to others. When you gossip, your behavior tells your listener that if you would talk about someone else, then you would also talk about them.  Although they may listen to you and engage in the gossip, they won’t trust you. This kind of behavior ruins relationships, destroys company culture and creates emotional drama that everyone would rather avoid.

What to do? Stop it. If you have an issue with someone, talk to the person you need to talk to and avoid the rumor mill that puts people on negative alert but never solves the problem. Otherwise you will just get more of the same – poor results and no trust.

Do you throw others under the bus?

This behavior usually takes place when someone is trying to avoid responsibility or accountability for the results that were created.  Sometimes, when others have not kept their commitments to you, their behavior has a direct negative effect on your results. When this is the case, ask yourself, “Did I manage the situation in such a way that kept them from being successful? Did I do my part to help them to be successful and to achieve the desired results?” Sometimes we become so busy and have so many things to do that we fail to manage a person or a situation in an optimal fashion.

What to do? Be responsible and take accountability for managing others, facilitating activities that will produce the desired results. When things don’t go as planned, examine your part in the process and accept ownership. Doing so will go a long way to creating and strengthening trust.

Do you keep confidences?

Someone once told me that there is no such thing as a secret until the person you told it to is dead. If someone shares something sensitive and important with you in confidence, unless there is a specific and legal reason not to, you should keep those things confidential. If you are going to share something important with another person, you should assume that sometime or somewhere what you share will be shared with someone else.

Are you supportive of others?

Nothing increases trust like being sincerely interested in and supportive of others and their efforts. If you are a leader and you frequently ask people what they need from you and how you can help and support them, they will feel the satisfaction that comes in knowing someone cares about them and their success. That care and concern will translate into increased trust.

What to do? Check in frequently and offer support. This will afford you the opportunity to get to know them, how they are doing and what you can help them with. Making interpersonal connections such as these will improve their work and their performance.

Our interactions with others serve either to build trust within our relationships or call it into question. Recognize that what you do and say is the first step in building and strengthening trust. As you consciously work to increase others’ confidence in you, your interactions will improve and you will achieve greater results. And, you’ll never have to worry about the speed of distrust.

Connect with John R. Stoker on Facebook, LinkedIn, or Twitter.

Governance — How To Avoid Confusion With Clear Communication

Governance — How To Avoid Confusion With Clear Communication 1200 628 Michelle Boyer

By: Michael S. Hyatt

Under-communication is a consistent problem in nearly every business. You can solve that by taking ownership of the communication happening around you.

I’ve worked with more than my share of poor communicators over the years. One was a boss who rarely shared information and never in a timely way. My office happened to be in a different building than his, so getting to our weekly one-on-one meeting took a little effort. Each week, I prepared a status report on my major projects, developed a list of answers I needed to make progress, and drove to the office in time for the meeting.

I can’t tell you how many times I was greeted by his assistant with a pained expression. “I’m so sorry,” she’d say. “He had to step out.” Not only did he cancel most of our meetings, but he did so without notice.

When we did meet, he provided little or no clarity. And he dodged most of my questions with “I’ll have to get back to you on that.” It was maddening!

Most under-communication is inadvertent. People are simply unaware of the gap between what’s in their mind and what’s in yours, and you suffer from that same lack of awareness. In fact, a team of researchers writing in the Journal of Political Economy labeled this phenomenon “the curse of knowledge.” It means that when you know something, it’s very hard to remember that other people don’t.

Fortunately, the solution is remarkably simple. All you have to do is step up and take responsibility for all the communication that comes from you or to you. Here’s how:

Determine To Be The Solution
Most of us are not fully aware of our own part in the communication quagmire. We may expect others to do all the work of conveying information. The first step in communicating clearly is to determine to be the solution, not the problem. Are you ready to champion clear communication in your workplace?

Externalize Your Thinking
The curse of knowledge affects everyone, including you. As a result, we don’t communicate or don’t communicate enough. Be aware of the gap between your understanding and that of your team. Stop assuming that people know what’s important or what needs to be done. Get your thoughts out of your head where others can read or hear them.

Push For Clarity
Before you compose your message (or say it out loud), ask yourself, “How can I set the other person up for success?” Before you hit send, reread the communication to be sure it’s clear. Would you know exactly what you meant? Clarity is vital for communication. Sometimes that will mean pushing others for clarity. Remember, they also suffer from the curse of knowledge and may have a tendency to omit information or use ambiguous language. Gently ask them to make their meaning clear.

Confirm Understanding
Communication hasn’t really happened until the other person not only receives your words but also understands them. You can request a “read receipt” when you send a message, but you also need to get an “understand receipt.” You can do that with questions like “Is anything unclear about that?” or “What do you understand based on what I’ve said?”

Actually, you can’t over-communicate. Or at least it is pretty hard to do. People are busy and distracted. They forget things they should remember – things they want to remember. Communication is not a one-and-done event. Communicate again. And again.

What would it be like to come to work in a place where you never had to go on a deep dive for the information you need to do your job? How would it change the culture of your office if everyone was clear, direct and intentional in their communication? Why not take responsibility for making that happen and find out?


09-15-2022 Question and Answers

09-15-2022 Question and Answers 1200 628 Michelle Boyer

Q: We help with shoes and uniform clothing for a very poor school. We were told we shouldn’t help since we are helping a private inner-city school. Many are homeless with no shoes or winter coats. We do not assist with school tuition or any other school funding issues; we are helping the children. Is this acceptable?

A: If you give the shoes and clothing individually, directly to those who need it, it can be recorded as an individual case and it would be valid.  If this is extra clothing that cannot otherwise be used, then it is ok. However, if clothing is purchased specifically for the need given to the children, then it is a donation prohibited according to the Rule, Statute 26. We do not do checkbook charity — we are to be involved in person-to-person works..

Q: Can a Youth serve as secretary of adult Conference?

A: There are no age restrictions as far as the officers are concerned. Obviously, you would want an adult as Treasurer. Everything depends on how comfortable the members are with a youth as Secretary. However, keep in mind that the youth must be an Active Member of the Conference to be eligible to be an officer.

Spanish Translation

P: Ayudamos con zapatos y ropa de uniforme para una escuela muy pobre. Nos dijeron que no deberíamos ayudar ya que estamos ayudando a una escuela privada del centro de la ciudad. Muchos no tienen hogar, no tienen zapatos ni abrigos de invierno. No ayudamos con la matrícula escolar ni con ningún otro problema de financiación escolar; estamos ayudando a los niños. ¿Es esto aceptable?

R: Si entregas los zapatos y la ropa de uniforme directamente a quien lo necesita, se puede registrar como un caso individual y sería válido. Si se trata de ropa adicional que no se puede usar de otra manera, entonces está bien. Sin embargo, si la ropa se compra específicamente para la necesidad de los niños, entonces es una donación prohibida por la Regla, Estatuto 26. No hacemos caridad de solo escribir un cheque – debemos ser involucrados en obras de caridad de persona a persona.

P: ¿Puede un joven servir como secretario de una conferencia de adultos?

R: No hay restricciones de edad en lo que respecta a los oficiales. Obviamente, usted querría a un adulto como Tesorero. Todo depende de cuán cómodos se sientan los miembros con un joven como secretario. Sin embargo, tenga en cuenta que el joven debe ser un Miembro Activo de la Conferencia para ser elegible para ser oficial.

09-08-2022 Questions and Answers

09-08-2022 Questions and Answers 1200 628 Michelle Boyer

Q: What is national’s official position on having co-presidents within a Conference?

A: The National Council’s official stand is that co-presidents in a Conference are not recommended. Too many problems occur with co-presidencies and it is difficult for Vincentian members and the National Council to know who to go to for issues and/or concerns that may arise. This is why we have vice-presidents. One president per Conference is sufficient.

Spanish Translation

P: ¿Cuál es la posición oficial de National sobre tener copresidentes dentro de una Conferencia?

R: La posición oficial del Consejo Nacional es que no se recomiendan copresidentes en una Conferencia. Ocurren demasiados problemas con las copresidencias y es difícil para los miembros Vicentinos y el Consejo Nacional saber a quién acudir para los problemas y/o inquietudes que puedan surgir. Por eso tenemos vicepresidentes. Un presidente por Conferencia es suficiente.

Governance: Owners and Stakeholders — Part Two

Governance: Owners and Stakeholders — Part Two 1200 628 Michelle Boyer

Last week we discussed five groups of people who should be considered stakeholders in what we do as Vincentians. Here are five additional groups:

  • Collaborative Nonprofit Organizations
  • Governmental Entities
  • The Community At Large
  • The Local Bishop (in the case of all Catholic organizations)
  • Pastors and Clergy (in the case of any Catholic organization supported by a parish)

Other nonprofit organizations are stakeholders. We all share a com­mon goal to some degree. All nonprofits influence other nonprofit or­ganizations in their community. Especially important are those nonprofits that we partner with. If the Society does something to dam­age its reputation, then those that collaborate with it also may suffer collateral damage.

Every nonprofit needs other nonprofits to accomplish larger projects. With diversity of missions nonprofits can share the overall needs of those served by sharing our strengths with each other. For example, a person may need shelter that is provided by another nonprofit while the same person also needs clothing or food that is available from our Society.

The city, county, state, and federal govern­ments are additional stakeholders. Nonprofits and their volunteers are significant contributors to the support of the responsibilities of all these governmental entities. If federal and state governments did not allow donations to nonprofits to be tax-deductible, much of our work would be impossible to fund. If nonprofit organizations did not exist, it would be left up to the gov­erning bodies to provide necessary services to the public. Government agencies are very interested in what is done, how it is done, and the level of effectiveness and efficiency with which it is accomplished. They are also responsible to ensure that all laws are followed and that services provided do no harm to those who are served.

The entire community is a stakeholder. It has an interest in how those in need are served. The overall community and its image are improved when the disadvantaged are taken care of. The community is then thought of as a better place to live, raise children and experience a better quality of life. Where the care of those in need is provided by nonprof­its, the taxes necessary for broader social services are lessened.

Residents of the community often consider themselves “owners” of our Society. Because the people of the community see our work, some become donors, some volunteer and some know of someone who was served. Most agree with our work and readily identify with what we do even though they may not be directly involved. They may simply know that the Society of St. Vincent de Paul is in their community and helping the poor. That knowledge is im­portant to them.

The finances of the nonprofit corporation are also more important to a wider community than the finances of a for-profit. Everyone who contributes in some way, who receives services, or who simply knows about its work consider themselves an owner or stakeholder. There is a perceived level of stewardship by the community. They expect the nonprofit to be run efficiently and that the money donated or granted to it goes toward intended programs. In fact, many people believe that nonprofit organizations should have plain, inexpensive offices and equipment. To them it is an indication that most of the donations are given to the poor and not to the people running the nonprofit. The people of the community will not tolerate what they consider to be excessive salaries.  In their eyes a nonprofit employee is really a dedicated volunteer and does the work because of a love of the mission and not for a well-paid job. For many employees that is a reality.

In our Society we recognize the need to maximize the amount of our donations that goes directly to those in need. But that maximization cannot come at the expense of our employees who deserve adequate wages. The Society’s Voice of the Poor Committee has developed a policy about a just wage for our employees. That policy has been approved by the National Council Members.

In the case of Catholic organizations, the local Bishop is responsible for all activities related to the Church in his Diocese. Because our Society is in the Diocese at the pleasure of the Bishop, he is a stakeholder. He allows us to be in the parishes because of our close relationship to the Church and the work we do for Christ’s poor. Because the way we operate directly reflects on the Diocese in the eyes of the community, and because our Society also contributes to the spiritual growth of its members and evangelizes by its members’ actions, the Bishop has great interest in what we do. He knows that we assist in fulfilling the Church’s preferential option for the poor. This vital relationship requires regular and close attention. Keeping your Bishop informed about the activities and achievements of your Council should be a high priority.

Pastors and Clergy are stakeholders for reasons similar to those of the Bishop. Our presence in the parish helps the pastor and other clergy serve the poor and relieves the parish burden of responding to the needs of people coming to the Church for assistance. Always keep in mind that St. Vincent de Paul serves in the parish with the pastor’s permission.

(The source of this article is Governance: Council and Board, the original version of which was authored by former National Vice President Terry Wilson.)


Governance: Owners and Stakeholders — Part One

Governance: Owners and Stakeholders — Part One 1200 628 Michelle Boyer

The source of this article is Governance:  Council and Board, the original version of which was authored by former National Vice President Terry Wilson.

Have you ever considered the audiences you have as a Vincentian and especially as a Vincentian leader? Whether you are a Conference or Council President, a member of a Board of Directors, serve on a Committee, or are an active or associate member of a Conference there are a number of people to whom you are accountable, are your audience, or have a stake in what you do and how you do it. We call these people “stakeholders.”

In for-profit companies the finances are mainly of interest to those who own the corporation or those interested in becoming owners. Nonprofit corporations, however, have many “owners,” also known as stakeholders. This week we’ll discuss five of these groups and in the next issue an additional five.

  • Members
  • Those They Serve
  • Donors
  • Volunteers
  • Employees

Let’s talk about these one at a time:

Members are stakeholders. In the Society of St. Vincent de Paul, most Vincentians consider their work to be a vocation. They believe in the mission and have invested heavily with their time, talent, and resources to help achieve it. More than that, it is often their very way of life.

The needs of those served make them stakeholders. For example, our Society’s mission is carried out by supplying people in need with serv­ices and goods they require to live a decent life. In many cases our help is the difference between the abject poverty of living on the street or the peace of having a place of their own in which to live.

Our Society’s work goes beyond food, shelter, clothes, furniture, etc. When life circumstances such as illness, job loss, or poor decisions fall heavily on a person or family, Vincentians can bring hope, share our spirituality, and provide at least for basic needs.

Donors make our work possible. They want to be sure their dona­tions are used to achieve the greatest amount of benefits for the program to which they contributed. Even though they know it is not possible, they would like every dollar they give to go directly to those in need.

Donors give of their time and money because they believe in what we do and how we do it. They want to find a way to give to the poor or make a difference in someone’s life. Our Society and the way we oper­ate gives them confidence that their support will achieve their desires to help those in need.

Volunteers are closely aligned with any nonprofit, especially ours. They desire to contribute to those in need and to give back to the community for their own good fortune. They see the Society as a well-run organiza­tion that knows how to reach those in need and assist them. It is not uncommon that a volunteer will eventually become a member.

Employees work for any corporation or business to provide for their own needs.  In our Society they become our partners in our mis­sion. More than that, they become believers in our work and who we are. We expect them to present themselves to those we serve and the public in the same way a member does. They are often so involved that you find it hard to separate them from our Vincentian members.

They are true stakeholders because they both support and foster the mission and because they need to earn a living. Some may even be will­ing to continue to work for less than they can earn elsewhere. The Soci­ety has a responsibility to pay a living wage and provide necessary benefits. All members of the Society must ask: How can we live out our mission to help others if our own employees are underpaid?

(The source of this article is Governance:  Council and Board, the original version of which was authored by former National Vice President Terry Wilson.)

08-25-2022 Questions and Answers

08-25-2022 Questions and Answers 1200 628 Michelle Boyer

Q: We have a situation with a Conference working with an individual who is “cheating the system” to get more help. Would it be wise for them to report this to the police or just let it go? 

A: One of the categories in our non-discrimination statement is “criminal justice status.” We also are concerned about the safety of children and vulnerable adults. If the suspicion of “cheating the system” is serious enough then it should be reported, as a matter of conscience.

Q: When two meetings are held in the month — can the Reflection be omitted from one of the meetings to shorten the length of the meeting? I always believed having a Reflection item on the agenda was a necessary item in all meetings.

A: All meetings must incorporate spirituality, fellowship, and service. While it could take several forms of varying lengths, some element of Spirituality must be included in every meeting agenda.

Spanish Translation

P: Tenemos una situación con una Conferencia que trabaja con una persona que está “engañando al sistema” para obtener más ayuda. ¿Sería prudente para ellos informar esto a la policía o simplemente dejarlo pasar? 

R: Una de las categorías en nuestra declaración de no discriminación es “estado de justicia criminal.” También nos preocupa la seguridad de los niños y adultos vulnerables. Si la sospecha de “engañar al sistema” es lo suficientemente grave, debe denunciarse, como cuestión de conciencia.

P: Cuando se llevan a cabo dos reuniones en el mes, ¿se puede omitir la Reflexión de una de las reuniones para acortar la duración de la reunión? Siempre creí que tener un tema de Reflexión en la agenda era un tema necesario en todas las reuniones.

R: Todas las reuniones deben incorporar espiritualidad, compañerismo y servicio. Si bien podría tomar varias formas de duración variable, se debe incluir algún elemento de espiritualidad en la agenda de cada reunión.

Governance: Annual Review — Part Two

Governance: Annual Review — Part Two 1200 628 Michelle Boyer

*(Excerpted from Vincentian Life: Conference)

IRS Form 990

The IRS requires all nonprofits to submit a Form 990 describing their financials and works at the end of their fiscal year. The IRS gives our Councils and Conferences until February 15 of the following year to submit this report. However, not all Conferences are required to submit it.

Only those Conferences that have their own EIN need to submit this report. For all Conferences that have been allowed to use their Council’s EIN, the Council (District or Diocesan) will submit a consolidated 990 to the IRS which includes the Conference information. (Additional information about submitting Form 990 tax returns appears at the end of this article.)


The Conference guidelines for service should be reviewed each year during October and/or November to ensure that they reflect current conditions. This is the time that changes in the guidelines should be considered. However, the guidelines are the work of the Conference members and they may change them at any time. There is nothing magic about this time of year. A regular review is good practice.


This is the time of year recommended for all Conferences to have an annual audit. This is an informal audit and may be done by two or three members of the Conference, but not by those responsible for accounting or disbursing funds. The purpose of the audit is not to find fault. Its purpose is to assure the members of the Conference that all proper procedures are being followed and all the funds of the Conference have been reconciled on a regular basis. It is recommended that an audit take place when a new President takes office.

The National Council website has a sample audit procedure on the Growth & Revitalization page under Conference Officer Training.


In the Manual of the Society, there is a list of the various types of documents and records that the Conferences typically deal with. Some are kept permanently. Some are kept for seven years and then destroyed. Some are kept for three years and then destroyed. Some are kept for one year.

The beginning of the fiscal year is the time for the Secretary and Treasurer to review their records and do what is appropriate with each type of document.


The beginning of the fiscal year is a time to ensure that everything related to last year has been properly reviewed and reported. It is also time for records to be properly stored. This is a time when Conference members should have every assurance that they are moving into the new fiscal year in good form.

Form 990 Tax Returns

Tax-exempt organizations, such as the Society of St. Vincent de Paul, which operate with a 501(c)(3) status are obligated to report their activities to the Internal Revenue Service on an annual basis. This reporting is done on a Form 990, Return of Organization Exempt From Income Tax. The form is intended to give the government and public a picture of the organization’s activities each year. Some donors rely on Form 990 as their primary or sole source of information about a particular organization when selecting charities to support.

Form 990 includes information about the organization’s finances, governance, and compliance with certain federal tax filings and requirements, as well as compensation paid to the highest-earning employees. Additional schedules may be required depending upon the entity.

Generally, subsidiary Conferences that are using the Council’s EIN can rely upon the Council to submit a Form 990 to the IRS if they provide their information to the Council. A Conference whose tax exemption is covered under a Council’s group ruling must annually submit a Form 990 for their individual EIN. The Form 990 is due on the 15th day of the 5th month following the end of the organization’s taxable year. Most Councils end their fiscal year on September 30. These Councils should file their tax return by February 15.

There are two alternate versions of Form 990:

  • Some Councils may be eligible to complete a simplified Form 990-EZ, Short Form Return of Organization Exempt From Income Tax. Criteria include gross receipts of less than $200,000 and total assets less than $500,000 at the end of the tax year. The short form is also open to public inspection.
  • Form 990-N, Electronic Notice (e-Postcard) for Tax-Exempt Organizations Not Required to File Form 990 or Form 990-EZ, applies to small tax-exempt organizations with annual gross receipts of $50,000 or less. Councils and Conferences that are included in a group return may not use this form. Furthermore, it is important to note that the 990-N must be completed and filed electronically. There is no paper form.

Conference and Councils are encouraged to seek professional advice by hiring an accounting firm or Certified Public Accountant familiar with nonprofit taxes to review the organization’s finances in order to produce audited financial statements and the Form 990 tax return.  Accounting firms will typically complete Form 990 on behalf of the organization, ask leadership to review the documents and file on your behalf.

08-18-2022 Questions and Answers

08-18-2022 Questions and Answers 1200 628 Michelle Boyer

Q: I understand that an Executive Director (ED) is an ex-officio member of all standing committees. Is he also an automatic member of the Board of directors and entitled to attend any meeting (including Executive board meetings)?

A: In the Bylaws, The CEO/ED is normally included as a non-voting Board Member and officer.  As such, the CEO/ED is also included in the Executive Committee. However, if part of a board meeting is to discuss matters related specifically to the CEO/ED’s performance or review, then the Board or Executive Committee may go into Executive Session which would only include voting Board Members.

Q: One board member who is limited in personal income has asked to be compensated for his time spent working on computer/printer needs. He did not ask to be paid for the camera he volunteered to install. Should we reimburse this member for work which previously was either done voluntarily or was done without bringing a request for compensation to the board in advance for approval?

A: If there was no clear expectation in advance by both parties that compensation was necessary for the work to be done. Within SVdP, members should be reimbursed for expenses they incur when doing SVdP work, but they should not be expected to be paid for their time unless there was a prior agreement in place.

Spanish Translation

P: Entiendo que un director ejecutivo (ED) es un miembro exoficio de todos los comités permanentes. ¿Es también miembro automático de la Junta Directiva y tiene derecho a asistir a cualquier reunión (incluidas las reuniones de la Junta Ejecutiva)?

R: En los estatutos, el CEO/ED normalmente se incluye como miembro de la Junta y funcionario sin derecho a voto. Como tal, el CEO/ED también está incluido en el Comité Ejecutivo. Sin embargo, si parte de una reunión de la junta es para discutir asuntos relacionados específicamente con el desempeño o la revisión del CEO/ED, entonces la Junta o el Comité Ejecutivo pueden pasar a una Sesión Ejecutiva que solo incluiría a los miembros de la Junta con derecho a voto.

P: Un miembro de la junta que tiene ingresos personales limitados ha pedido que se le compense por el tiempo que dedica a trabajar con computadoras/impresoras. No pidió que le pagaran por la cámara que se ofreció a instalar. ¿Deberíamos reembolsar a este miembro por el trabajo que anteriormente se realizó voluntariamente o se realizó sin presentar una solicitud de compensación a la junta por adelantado para su aprobación?

R: Ambas partes tenían que clarificar las expectativas de antemano si es necesaria una compensación para realizar el trabajo. Dentro de SVdP, los miembros deben ser reembolsados ​​por los gastos en los que incurren cuando realizan el trabajo de SVdP, pero no se debe esperar que se les pague por su tiempo, a menos que haya un acuerdo previo en vigor.

08-11-2022 Questions and Answers

08-11-2022 Questions and Answers 1200 628 Michelle Boyer

Q: It is my understanding that only presidents of aggregated Conferences can be voting members of a District Council. Is this correct?

A: The Rule, Part III, Statute 10 specifies that District Councils represent a minimum of three, and ideally a maximum twelve Conferences in an (Arch)diocese. Although there is no specification that the Conferences have to be aggregated in the Rule, when a District Council applies for Institution, there is a requirement that at least three of the Conferences must be aggregated. In the nationally approved bylaws for District Councils, there is no specification that affiliated Conferences must be aggregated to be voting members of the District Council.  However, it is highly recommended that Conferences get aggregated as soon as they are eligible (after one year of service).

Q:  Can a paid employee vote in SVdP elections?

A:  The answer can be found in the Rule Part III Statute 14. As the statute states, “employees of the Society … may serve in a Conference other than holding any office. Paid staff cannot be officers at any level in the Society; however paid staff who are active members of a Conference may vote on all issues (including elections) except those which may affect their jobs.”

Spanish Translation

P: Tengo entendido que solo los presidentes de Conferencias agregadas pueden ser miembros con derecho a voto de un Consejo de Distrito. ¿Es esto correcto?

R: La Regla, Parte III, Estatuto 10 especifica que los Consejos de Distrito representan un mínimo de tres, e idealmente un máximo de doce, Conferencias en una (Arqui)diócesis. Aunque no se especifica que las Conferencias deban agregarse en la Regla, cuando un Consejo de Distrito solicita la Institución, existe el requisito de que al menos tres de las Conferencias deben ser agregadas. En los estatutos aprobados a nivel nacional para los Consejos de Distrito, no se especifica que las Conferencias afiliadas deban agregarse para ser miembros con derecho a voto en el Consejo. Sin embargo, se recomienda encarecidamente que las Conferencias se agreguen tan pronto como sean elegibles (después de un año de servicio).

P: ¿Puede un empleado asalariado votar en las elecciones de SVdP?

R:  La respuesta se puede encontrar en la Regla Parte III del Estatuto 14. Como establece el estatuto, los empleados de la Sociedad pueden servir en una Conferencia además de ocupar cualquier cargo. El personal asalariado no puede ser funcionario en ningún nivel de la Sociedad; sin embargo, el personal asalariado que sea miembro activo de una Conferencia puede votar sobre todos los asuntos (incluidas las elecciones), excepto aquellos que puedan afectar sus puestos de trabajo.


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