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Published by: Allied Business Academies
Published in: "Journal of the International Academy for Case Studies", 2006

Abstract

NCS (National Cancer Society) was an organization founded and operated by volunteers. The organization received memorial contributions and distributed them as grants to applicants who meet the organization’s criteria. The group also maintained a worship space (bay) in a local church and holds regular memorial services for the deceased. At the time of the case, the organization had existed for about 18 years. The original enthusiasm of the founding members had waned and no one had come forward to replace them. Specifically, the president had not provided the leadership needed to maintain the organization’s momentum. The board of directors was divided about how to deal with this problem so that rare meeting degenerate into arguments. A former president was still collecting mail and was still the authorized signatory for checks. The state had issued delinquency notices because the organization has failed to file required informational forms. These notices provide a point of departure for discussing the future of the organization. Students should consider the responsibilities of a board in such a situation and whether the organization is viable. More specifically, the details of revitalizing or discontinuing the organization must be addressed. Accountants may find that volunteer organizations to which they belong call on their professional expertise to fill positions of financial responsibility. These organizations may operate informally and the accountant is in a difficult position as he or she attempts to impose standards that other members do not see as necessary. This case provides opportunity to discuss such a situation. The primary matter of this case concerns corporate governance in a nonprofit organization. Secondary issues examined include motivation of volunteer members in an organization and organization lifecycle. The case has a difficulty level of four, appropriate for senior level (it could also be used for first year graduate studies, level five). The case is designed to be taught in two class hours and is expected to require three hours of outside preparation by students.
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Abstract

NCS (National Cancer Society) was an organization founded and operated by volunteers. The organization received memorial contributions and distributed them as grants to applicants who meet the organization’s criteria. The group also maintained a worship space (bay) in a local church and holds regular memorial services for the deceased. At the time of the case, the organization had existed for about 18 years. The original enthusiasm of the founding members had waned and no one had come forward to replace them. Specifically, the president had not provided the leadership needed to maintain the organization’s momentum. The board of directors was divided about how to deal with this problem so that rare meeting degenerate into arguments. A former president was still collecting mail and was still the authorized signatory for checks. The state had issued delinquency notices because the organization has failed to file required informational forms. These notices provide a point of departure for discussing the future of the organization. Students should consider the responsibilities of a board in such a situation and whether the organization is viable. More specifically, the details of revitalizing or discontinuing the organization must be addressed. Accountants may find that volunteer organizations to which they belong call on their professional expertise to fill positions of financial responsibility. These organizations may operate informally and the accountant is in a difficult position as he or she attempts to impose standards that other members do not see as necessary. This case provides opportunity to discuss such a situation. The primary matter of this case concerns corporate governance in a nonprofit organization. Secondary issues examined include motivation of volunteer members in an organization and organization lifecycle. The case has a difficulty level of four, appropriate for senior level (it could also be used for first year graduate studies, level five). The case is designed to be taught in two class hours and is expected to require three hours of outside preparation by students.

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