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David Silverman’s Response

July 1, 2008

A couple posts back, I shared how I wrote this comment on the blog sponsored by American Atheists and administered over by David Silverman, which can be found at

Congratulations, David and Kathleen (on being appointed to the Board of Directors). David, I personally think your appointment to the Board is overdue by about 10 years, give or take. But better late than never. Is the board considering terms and term limits? One book on nonprofits that I’m reading says that in many organizations, once a board member serves the term limit, they have to leave the board for at least a year. Afterwards, they are able to rejoin it. Also, if you haven’t already, you might consider recruiting board members with a diverse range of abilities and experience. For example, one with experience in accounting, one with experience in web design, one with marketing experience, etc… Is the board considering hiring an executive director? It seems that most nonprofits that reach a certain size will hire an executive director who runs the day to day operations of the organization, and the board is there to provide oversight, knowledge, and fund raising contacts… Does AA have an up to date strategic plan? Up to date handbooks for board members, staff, volunteers, state and local leaders? Does AA regularly put out a call for volunteers, contact community colleges and universities for both volunteers and interims, and place ads for interims? -Andrew Clapper

Here is Silverman’s response:

(Andrew), Our board HAS broadened recently with the addition of Edwin (Attorney), Kathy (Military), Arlene (Local Groups) and myself (pretty face). You’re going like the changes over the next year.

Although Silverman addressed the question of the need for a larger board, the idea is to have a board of experts that are able to make sure that the organization is run efficiently and professionally. There is nothing wrong with having activist board members, but I can not help but wonder if certain areas of the organization’s management are being neglected.

The post on the expansion of the Board of Directors of American Atheists can be found here:


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