[Owasp-leaders] OWASP Board, Rebooted

Jim Manico jim.manico at owasp.org
Sun Jan 9 12:09:31 EST 2011

One of the things I do at OWASP is poke my nose into several committees to
see what they are up to. J


Lately, there has been a great deal of anger directed at the board, and I
think it's time for a board policy reboot.


I have experience working in non-profits prior to OWASP. Board/volunteer
conflict is very common in non-profits, and it's easier to fix these kinds
of problems from the top-down.


First of all, what is the primary role of any non-profit board member?
Fundraising and more fundraising. At least 80% of board members time, by my
estimate, should be dedicated to fundraising.  Second, board members should
not be involved in the operations of a non-profit. They should set policy
and guidance (fiduciary oversight), but should let the volunteers and staff
run the day to day operations.


What I see is the exact opposite. We have board members getting deeply
involved with operations, often over-riding committee decisions or dictating
operational decisions without consulting with the appropriate committees.
This is very harmful to the organization.  But we also have a history where
some committees do not fully execute or take responsibility - in these
situations the board has no choice but to step in.


I invite you to read http://www.idea.org/board.html - it mirrors some of my
(and others) thoughts about how a non-profit board should run.


Although I'm stating that we need to reboot the board, we also need to
reboot clarifying committee responsibilities. This goes for me and my
contributions to OWASP as well.


The summit is coming up soon - I'm sure this topic will come up in a working
session. Conflict can and will be converted into solutions there.  I hope
you can make it, it's going to be a great show.



Jim Manico







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