The Twin Cities Pagan community center, Sacred Paths Center, updated its website with a historical narrative and links to governance and preliminary internal audit documents. As part of the SPC’s commitment to ‘transparency‘, the narrative is a frank statement describing events that have led to the present state of affairs within the SPC.
Sacred Paths Center (SPC), the Pagan community center in Paganistan whose recent financial troubles, successful fundraising effort, ‘indefinite’ closing for audit, and subsequent reopening made national news, is in the news again. Yesterday, they released the findings from their governance audit and noted a failure to meet duties required of Minnesota non-profit corporations, by board members. The report went on to include suggestions to resolve the problems listed through a clear declaration of duties and Board education.
SPC also posted a historical narrative describing the confusion of the interpretation of the roles of Executive Director and Governing Board. It states:
“Since opening, the Sacred Paths Center has depended on its executive director for all operational needs, and the board of directors has served to provide transparency and to ensure the executive director was following the mission statement of the Center.”
The narrative reflects a ‘hands off relationship’ by the Board until just recently. The SPC bylaws reflect an organization structured to be operationally managed by a paid Executive Director. The bylaws do not appear to relinquish the Board fiduciary duties of the corporation to the Executive Director, making it an advisory body only. The commitment of the Executive Director in personal time and resources, and as a volunteer, may have contributed to this relationship uncertainty with the Board.
Compounding the situation are oral and informal financial reports given, and accepted by the Board; limited records of Board activity and meetings; and a simplistic and informal documentation of many aspects of the Center’s complex operations. The all volunteer nature of the center appears to have effected the ability of anyone to be held, ‘lovingly accountable’, without implication of a personal assignment of blame. No indications of fraud have been documented.
Please review the SPC narrative, and documents linked there for a better understanding of the history of the SPC to the present time.
” On Friday, August 26 (time unspecified), the newly formed board will meet to review these (organizational) proposals and to begin the work of creating a Community Center that will be self-sustaining and able to meet the needs of our members well into the future.”
Reference – Nov 5th,2010 PNC-MN editorial: Pagans and Non Profit Corporations