Improving NPCA's Governance: Challenges Today and Tomorrow

Peace Corps Online: Peace Corps News: Library: Peace Corps: National Peace Corps Association (NPCA): National Peace Corps Association: Archived Stories: July 28, 2004: Headlines: NPCA: Governance Structure: NPCA Executive Committee: Executive Summary: NPCA Executive Committee makes the Case for Improving Governance : Backup Material for the Report: Improving NPCA's Governance: Challenges Today and Tomorrow
The NPCA Report on Improving Governance The NPCA Report on Improving Governance
As requested by the Presidents' Forum last summer in Portland OR, the NPCA Board has studied ways to improve its performance. The report of this effort is now available and will be discussed in Chicago, August 5-8. The proposals, if approved, would reduce the Board's size and change its composition, via an amendment to NPCA Bylaws to be placed before the NPCA membership in the fall. Read the executive summary and the supporting material including NPCA's Challenges Today and Tomorrow, what RCPVs say about the changes and then leave your own comments.

By Admin1 (admin) ( - on Saturday, July 31, 2004 - 1:05 pm: Edit Post

Improving NPCA's Governance: Challenges Today and Tomorrow

Improving NPCA's Governance: Challenges Today and Tomorrow

Improving NPCA's Governance: Challenges Today and Tomorrow

Challenges today and tomorrow:

While the total Peace Corps community is large and growing, the organized PC community is small and stagnating. For 5-6 years, membership growth in NPCA and many Groups has stalled. Although NPCA's services benefit many persons (Kevin estimates 36,000), only about 10,000 support NPCA as Members!

Theoretically, the total Peace Corps community of PCVs, staff, and supporters has grown over 43 years to arguably about 200,000. Potentially, the active community, composed of 65,000 who listed themselves in our last Directory plus others not listed plus new Returned PCVs yearly, could total about 100,000. But the organized commmunity, composed of Group Members plus NPCA Members plus PC staff plus supporters, may total only about 40,000. Worse, NPCA's dues-paying Members number only about 10,000 - hardly impressive!

Beneficiaries of NPCA services number about 36,000. They include: dues-paying Members; about 7,500 PCVs serving abroad; about 2,000 new Returnees receiving one-year memberships free; about 700 non-members in our Advocacy, Global TeachNet, and Micro-Enterprise programs - not to mention non-member readers of WorldView; and about 15,000 Group Members who are not also NPCA Members but benefit indirectly!

Nonetheless, NPCA now attracts significant talent, resources, and financial obligations. NPCA has great potential to grow. But these challenges require management and governance which are consistently professional. (See Chart 3)

Our talents include our dynamic new President, Kevin Quigley, our able staff, and an Advisory Council of RPCVs with nationally-recognized reputations, such as Donna Shalala, Harris Wofford, and Gordon Radley. Among our Advisors have been four former Peace Corps Directors -- Nick Craw, Kevin O'Donnell, Mark Gearan, and the late John Dellenbach.

Our resources include a growing number of large donors in our Directors' Circle. We are now established enough to attract grants from foundations, loans to assist our development, and contracts from the Peace Corps. Fulfilling these contracts and conducting programs and services excellently imposes significant business and financial obligations.

Finally, we are privileged to be gradually assuming various fiduciary obligations: the Shriver, Ruppe, & Delano Endowments, the Micro-Enterprise Fund, and planned giving funds. While not yet large, these funds will grow. But they require skills in business, law, finance, and investment oversight. They are complex enough not to be left to amateurs and good luck!

Compared to our challenges and goals, our governance is weak in design and weaker in practice. So, we hobble ourselves from acting boldly to improve our services, finances, and growth. At NPCA's age 25, we are still talking about when we might reach our potential.


Unless we improve our governance, effectiveness, and growth now, the organized PC community will fail to realize its potential and wither into obscurity. We urge Group Leaders and our Members to approve these proposals with enthusiasm.

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Story Source: NPCA Executive Committee

This story has been posted in the following forums: : Headlines; NPCA; Governance Structure



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