History & Landmarks Foundation explores shrinking board
The Pittsburgh History & Landmarks Foundation is considering shrinking its board by about 50 members so trustees can take a more active role in governing operations, foundation officials said.
Foundation President Arthur Ziegler Jr. said the organization is updating its internal structure to conform with the latest national standards for nonprofits. Recommendations included cutting the board to about 25 members from 75, and possibly setting term limits for members, he said after a meeting on Wednesday. The foundation also is considering establishing an advisory board to represent community interests.
“The idea is that we will work out a way to reduce the size of the board,” Ziegler said. “If the board itself is smaller, it would be stronger in governing the operations, as it should be, and we would have the advisory board represent all aspects of the community.”
The hard part is figuring out which trustees leave, Ziegler said. Members of the foundation's governing and nominating committees will offer recommendations, and the board will vote early next year, he said.
The foundation works with government agencies and others to identify, preserve and redevelop historic buildings and areas.
Scott Leff, associate director of the Robert Morris University Bayer Center for Nonprofit Management, said the national trend over the past decade is for nonprofits to have smaller boards. He described PHLF's board as unusually large and said nonprofits often change board numbers over time.
Many larger boards often include donors to the organization.
“Nonprofits go through ... stages of development, and board roles and board sizes tend to evolve with them,” he said. “The smaller boards are where you see more board activity on the governance side.”
Ziegler said the foundation, which he cofounded in 1964, grew over the years, and the board grew with it to provide as much community input as possible.
Trustees, who debated the issue Wednesday, described the process as civil despite differences over the reduction process.
“This was not a meeting where criticism was being leveled at anyone,” said trustee Merrill Stabile. “Nothing was even decided today other than to think about ways to get down to 25 members.”
Bob Bauder is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. He can be reached at 412-765-2312 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.
- Pittsburgh adjusting to new bicycle lane, ‘stop boxes’
- Icy roads, cold causing school delays, wrecks in Western Pa.
- Brashear High ‘little libraries’ program rolls out
- Environmental teachers glean new ideas from networking
- Newsmaker: Cindy Marzock
- Pittsburgh fraud case, Uganda-based counterfeiting racket linked
- Second African penguin chick hatches at National Aviary
- Suspected burglar fatally shot outside North Braddock house
- German firm Nextbike to provide first 500 bikes for Pittsburgh sharing program
- The Exchange offers reward for information that leads to the arrest of person who shot Ross clerk
- Motivation in slaying of Penn Hills couple remains unclear