MKP Reorg – FAQ

The ManKind Project USA

Reorganization FAQ

 

I.  BACKGROUND

1. What was ACT I all about?

“ACT” is short for the Stanford University “Alumni Consulting Team,” which provides free consulting services to worthy non-profits.  MKP approached Stanford for assistance in better defining the Mission and Vision of the organization.  Stanford University agreed to support this project and formed an “ACT” to execute it.  The Team was made up of 5 Stanford MBAs, four of whom were New Warrior Brothers.    The result of ACT I was a presentation at MKP’s Annual Meeting in Glen Ivy in February 2009.   A year later at Glen Ivy in 2010 MKP formally adopted the recommended Mission and Vision Statements.  Among the other findings of the ACT I Team was a strong warning that MKP USA’s current organizational structure (more or less autonomous Centers) and funding model (NWTA reliance with declining enrollment) would NOT be capable of supporting its mission goals.  MKP USA requested another Stanford ACT to more clearly define this problem and suggest next steps.

2. What are the Mission and Vision Statements adopted from ACT I?

MKP adopted the following statements at Glen Ivy in February of 2010:

Mission

The ManKind Project International exists to create a safer world by growing better men.  We do this by training men, supporting them in circles, and inspiring them to missions of service.

Vision

Our vision is a safe world where all men are brothers, in relationship with one another, a world where conflicts are resolved peacefully; where torture, genocide, domestic violence and senseless war are only entries in the history books,  where men are fully accountable and take responsibility for their decisions, where men stand tall and proud to be men, secure in their roles and deeply committed to nurturing one another, their families, their communities, and their planet.

Core Values

The core values of MKPI are accountability, authenticity, compassion, generosity, integrity, leadership, multicultural awareness and respect.  We commit to integrating these values into our lives.

Big Hairy Audacious Goals

  • Within 30 years, build a body of men a million strong creating a safer world in Circles around the globe.
  • Within 20 years, establish an MKP community in every city in the world that is home to at least one million souls.
  • Within 15 years, achieve international recognition on par with Doctors without Borders and other public institutions of merit.
  • Within 10 years, develop and deliver an internationally recognized curriculum for mature masculinity for all ages and stages of a man’s life.

Identity Statement

We elected to keep our existing Identity Statement:  We are an order of men called to reclaim the s      acred masculine for our time through initiation, training and action in the world.

3. What was ACT II all about?

ACT II studied MKP as well as many other non-profit organizations with similar missions or  structures.  What the Team found was that ALL organizations similar to MKP USA in organizational structure and funding model either failed and ceased to exist, or radically transformed their organizations to deal with impending failure.  The team also diagnosed signs of impending failure in MKP itself, including a sharp decline in enrollment since 2006.  In February 2010, the MKP USA councils approved the findings and recommendations of the Stanford ACT II Team.  These recommendations included:

i.Unify the MKP USA Centers that are willing in order to operate from the power of a single budget, consolidate resources to invest in our growth and create a rapid intelligence/decision/action cycle.

ii.Create a sustainable revenue model.

iii.Expand our National support team to include professional Marketing and Development functions.

iv.Fund a Marketing program to develop a virtuous Member Relations Cycle to strengthen the relationship between the organization and its members, and establish a positive MKP brand with the general public to boost enrollment.

4. What do you mean when you say, “Developing a virtuous Member Relations Cycle to strengthen the relationship between the organization and its members.”

A healthy Member Relations Cycle is one of the essential bases of any successful non-profit that does not rely on grants from foundations and government programs.  The four elements of this cycle are:

  1. Know your members: understand their wants and needs
  2. Communicate with your members: ask them what they want and tell them what you are doing with their support
  3. Serve your members: provide the services they want and/or prosecute the mission they want you to achieve in the world
  4. Ask your members for support: request cash and labor from your membership base to support the operations undertaken in service to the needs of your membership

Note that MKP has consistently attempted to jump to Step 4 without properly executing Steps 1-3 first.  One of the main findings of the Stanford ACT II report was that this approach is doomed to failure.  The whole cycle needs to operate continuously in order to work.  Successful non-profits all maintain a professional staff to operate this cycle.

5. Why isn’t the current MKP USA revenue model sustainable?

67% of all revenue MKP USA earns comes from NWTA fees and with enrollment falling year after year, there are not enough funds to pay the staff, provide services and support growth.   MKP is like a shark, in that we must constantly swim in order to breathe, and with our swimming rate slowing down (declining enrollment), we are suffocating.  To be sustainable, our revenue model needs to rely not just on our new initiates (a small flow) but also on our membership base (a large stock).  For this to happen, our membership base must have good reasons to support our mission and to feel engaged with the organization.

6. Why is enrollment falling?

Without a proper marketing department to track and study this issue, we can only conjecture, but likely reasons are not hard to find:

i.      We have no dedicated marketing personnel and no marketing budget, so we are not getting the word out about the value of our offering.

ii.      We have received a great deal of negative publicity in recent years.  This publicity continues to haunt us.

iii.      We have had a number of men go through our training and either take offense to it or, in at least once case, go through with the deliberate intention of “exposing” us.  These men have actively attempted to define our brand online in the most negative way possible.  If you Google MKP, you will learn on Page One of your search that we are a cult that kills people when not running through the woods naked and beating drums.  Prospective recruits who research us online find this material and run screaming.

iv.      We are actually a victim of our early success, we have grown to a point where our recruiting activities simply can’t be grown any more using an all-volunteer base that burns out quickly and has to continuously make the same mistakes and relearn the same skills.

II.  STRUCTURE

7. How will a consolidated MKP USA serve us better than we are being served now?

Some of the more salient benefits include the following:

i.Generate growth in enrollment so that Trainings become profitable instead of cancelled and our work begins to reach a lot more men.

ii.Increase our revenue base and external fundraising efforts so that Centers enjoy growing budgets and the ability to support more local programs.

iii.Add new trainings and leadership tracks so that the men in your community come to see MKP as of continuing relevance in their lives and therefore start to support their communities more.

iv.Develop new programs to increase the ratio of Initiates joining I-Groups and increase the retention rate of men in I-Groups.

v.Unburden Centers of some repetitive manual tasks and paperwork.

vi.Unburden Centers of payment processing and collections.

vii.Free Center Directors and their staff to focus more of their time on their communities and strengthening their I-Groups rather than organizing Trainings.

viii.Cut costs by sharing infrastructure such as a common accounting platform and prospect databases.

ix.Provide better financial oversight to struggling Centers.

8.Why will it be required for a Center to give up its status as an independent non-profit corporation? What is to prevent a Center from transferring its funds to MKP USA while it maintains its status as a separate corporation?

There are practical administrative, financial, legal, operational and tax implications of trying to move funds between 33 separate non-profit corporations are mind boggling.  We could never afford the staff to manage all of that.  Note that while a Center ceases to be an independent corporation, its Board or Council continues to be responsible for local governance.   The Board or Council continues to run the Center just as it does today, with the sole exception of the new budget controls.

9.Centers seem to be losing power and control over their own affairs and giving it to an “outside” entity in this Consolidation.  How will this help my Center?

There are several ways to answer this:

  1. Centers will be giving up some control over their finances.  They will not be giving up control in any other area (see Question 8).  Centers still devise and propose their own budgets, but must then get that budget approved by a Budget Committee comprised of the MKP USA Executive Director (or designee), the MKP USA CFO (or designee), and three Center Council representatives (or designees).  This constrains the Center, but equally protects it from poor planning at any of the other Centers within MKP USA.  Centers will continue to elect their own CDs, Councils or Boards and other staff.  Those men are generally volunteers and all report to their own communities.  In reality the new centralized structure is going to have very little power to control these men other than produce a balanced budget.
  2. Viewed another way, Consolidation is less about Centers giving up power and control than it is about uniting our strengths in a way that allows each Center to achieve MORE than we could by “going it alone.”  There are just certain functions that it makes sense to do on a national or area basis, while there are many others that can ONLY be done on a local basis. Consolidation will create a unified structure that allows functions to move to where they are best handled.  For instance, it will be important to create a national awareness of MKP and its work.  To do that efficiently will require a Marketing presence and membership participation that is best initiated and coordinated on a national basis with implementation through Areas and Centers.
  3. Finally, you may remember the cartoon character “POGO.” He once said that “We have met the enemy and he is US!”  MKP USA is not exactly an “outside entity.”  It is governed by a Council elected by the Center Council, constituencies and others representing the Men who make up the Communities in every Center.  So in a very real sense when talking about MKP USA we are talking about US.  While it is true that under Consolidation there will be a slightly larger group of full time, paid professionals working in the National support team, it is also true that THIS team works for US!  This National staff will report directly to and take direction from the Executive Director and Executive Team, which is a part of the MKP USA Council – our ELECTED governing body.

10. Under the Consolidated Organization, who runs Training? Marketing? Enrollment? Mission? Community Outreach?

Trainings will continue to be run as they are today, by the Local Center, with the exception that Centers that are part of an Area will need to coordinate with other Centers in the Area to avoid overlapping training dates, and will be able to move some of the administrative burden to their (optionally) Area Administrators.  There have been some proposals to move the responsibility for Training to the Leader Body, but these proposals are outside of the scope of Consolidation and will need to be considered separately.

Marketing will be run by the new Marketing specialist hired by the new Executive Director.  Control of this function will belong to the ED.  The ED’s objectives will be set by the elected MKP USA Council.

Enrollment has largely been a local function to date.  With the creation of a real marketing effort, the intention is that the responsibility for enrollment will be split.  The National Marketing department will drive the sourcing of prospects, men who “interested” in on of our trainings.  These men will be referred to the local Enrollment Coordinators in the appropriate Center.  The local Center will then drive actually closing these men and getting them to register.  In reality, given the minuscule size of our first steps into national marketing, Centers will likely still play a major role in sourcing prospects, but we eventually hope to scale to the point where the national effort is beginning to overtake the local effort.

Mission is receiving a serious boost, with 2011 themed The Year of The Mission, and major increases being made to the staff dedicated to Mission Work.  Mission will remain primarily a local function, because motivating men to mission is best done 1 on 1 and by example.  However, the national Marketing function will certainly contribute by highlighting outstanding missions of service in our member communications.

Community outreach is everyone’s responsibility.  In fact, much of the effort around Areas is intended to give Center staff more time to develop their communities and create community events.  Outreach to the MKP New Warrior Community will become a shared responsibility of both the Marketing Director and the governing council of each Center.  One of the FIRST charges to the new Marketing Director will be to start the process of building a robust “member relations cycle” as recommended by the ACT II Team.  Community outreach into other Communities BEYOND MKP USA will be a key role played by the new Marketing Director of MKP USA.

11. Which Area/National roles are paid positions and which are volunteer?

Marketing would be a paid position at the Regional (MKP USA) level.  The (optionally) Area Administrator at the AREA Level would be a paid position.  If and when MKP USA can afford a national Enrollment Director this would be a paid position.  All other positions are volunteer.

12. Under the single corporations concept, why would the Center Board or Council want to remain as an Advisory Board if they have no real authority or if the Area Team is in charge?

Because they WILL have real authority.  This was not well communicated in the original Straw Man document.  There will be no Advisory Boards.  The Center Board will lose its legal standing as the board of a non-profit corporation, but in those Centers where the Board functions as the primary Center governing body, the Board will become the elected Center Council and continue to direct the operations of the Center as before.  In Centers that already have a Center Council, this body remains in place.  The CD will continue to report to his Center Council, which will continue to set Center objectives and policies.  Centers continue to govern themselves.

13. What key things will not be changing in this process?

Most of what a Center does will not change.  Centers are the building blocks of MKP USA, and their function and responsibilities will remain much the same under the new organization. To the extent that we learn where this needs to change, we will all be part of the process of learning and figuring out how to adapt. If you want to be part of the process to define the future of MKP USA, then your Center needs to participate. Those who are part of the process will define the rules and guidelines as they evolve.  Probably the biggest thing that would not be changing is the culture and flavor of each Center.  Centers are still responsible for Community building (both in the narrow and larger sense), I-Group Support, Invitation/Enrollment and organizing & staffing trainings.  Centers will still be involved in interaction with their Leader Body, LKS, and Elder groups as well as enrollment and integration councils.

14. How will the new structure make certain that minority (as in “not in the majority” voices are heard?

Changing the structure should not affect the opportunity of minority voices to be heard because most decisions will remain local decisions. However, minorities will now have a “court of appeal” in terms of the Area and National levels above their own Centers.

15. How will disputes between Centers/Areas/National and Constituencies be handled?  (A Shadow Committee perhaps.)

There are no plans presently to change how disputes are handled. The peer review process could be utilized if it is applicable.

16. What jobs will be assumed by MKP USA? And what jobs will be done by a consolidated or a non-consolidated/independent Centers?

Presently MKP USA has four full time staff – Executive Director, Operations Director, CFO, and Information Systems Director – and some part time folks. When “Fund The Plan” becomes a reality we would like to add a Marketing Officer and a full time Development Director (fund raising) while at the same time funding them both with a reasonable budget.  Under the consolidation plan some Centers might add an Administrator at the Area level. The jobs specifically handled by the various staff and Center personnel would be worked out over time. However, the intent is to have “staff” handle repetitive activities and processes.

17. What is the new Governance Structure?

There is no intention to change our existing governance structure at this time, although it is reasonable to conclude that as Consolidation proceeds, we may realize that some changes are required.  The current Governance document of MKP can be found in the Download section of the New Warrior Circle. This document contains all the rules, regulations, operating procedures, control, etc. of the MKP organization as it relates to Centers, the Council, Officers, Constituent Bodies, Standing Committees, Staff, etc.

III.  IMPLEMENTATION PLAN

18. At the CD Meeting in October there were many fears such as: Community & Personality of MKP is going away; I fear we will lose closeness; I’m all in but I fear the plan.  What do you have to say that would address these fears?

There are three primary things to be said about these very reasonable fears:

  1. Trust the process, trust the men.  The men working on implementation are all good men who are putting their heart and soul into trying to improve our effectiveness.  They are continuously seeking input, following process, and publishing guides such as this one so that men can see where they are heading and provide feedback for improvement.  Nothing is going to happen without a lot of checkpoints and formal votes.
  2. “They” is “us”.  The men working on Consolidation come from all parts of the country and all walks of life.  Some are CDs themselves.  Some are certified Leaders.  Some are just men who sit in I-Groups.  Our common bond is a willingness to do a LOT of work out of love for MKP.  None of us want to ruin the Project any more than you do.  The intent is to change as little as possible of what currently goes on in a Center, except to the extent that we can reduce the administrative burdens on center personnel.
  3. This is a co-creative process.  Any man with fears about the outcome should add his two cents to the conversation to help us achieve a better outcome.  Input is welcome.   If you fear the change, then come and be part of it.  The E-Mail Address for the structure Committee is at the end of this FAQ, as is the website URL for providing online feedback.

19. Who, what group, will be on the consolidation team which will perform financial “due diligence” on Centers finances and decide if Centers are fit for consolidation?

This has not been formally decided upon, but will likely comprise the Executive Director, the CFO, and a small SWAT team of volunteers who will rotate through.  We doubt that there are more than 2-3 Centers that would fail due diligence, if even that many.  Most concerns have been raised about Houston, so it is worth noting that Houston has been putting its house in order and is likely to come to us as a relatively healthy Center by the time we can absorb a community that big.

20. Who is the sponsor of this change who will stick with it to the end and are they in an influential / power / authority position so they can make this change occur?? And will they have the time to commit to this change?

The primary official sponsor of this change has been the MKP USA Chairman, David Bauerly, who ran for that office on a platform of implementing the ACT II recommendations.  David has committed two years of his life to this position, and the reorganization has been his top priority from day one.  However, the primary driver for the reorganization, if it is approved, will need to be someone who works full-time, so this role will fall to the new Executive Director and his paid staff.  Your question about time is right on.  The main reason that things have not progressed faster is that the majority of Men in the process are working on it at the margin – squeezing in what time they have to get something done.

21. Who are the change agents and are they in an influential / power / authority position? Will they have the time to do all that is necessary?

To date this role has largely been played by Bruce Maxwell, the original ACT II Team Lead, who has neither power nor position within the organization, but has played Johnny Appleseed by travelling around the country talking directly to men in the Centers about reform.  Bruce has other obligations, and he will definitely not be able to run the full course “to do all that is necessary”.  So this role will absolutely need to be taken over by the ED and his paid staff, followed closely by Bauerly and the MKP USA Council followed VERY closely by each Center Director (and past Center Directors) and Center Councils.

22. What is the specific implementation plan?

In broad conception, it is:

i.Raise the $400K for the Fund The Plan campaign in order to be able to afford recruit a new Executive Director who will need to be the lynch pin for the whole process.

ii.The new ED hires the remaining missing parts of his team (Marketing, Development, etc.)

iii.Prototype the consolidation of 3-4 Centers so we can make our early mistakes and learn how to roll a new Center up well.

iv.Once we have a handle on the roll-up process, negotiate and publish a roll-up schedule so that each Center knows when it will be consolidating

v.Roll up 1-2 Centers a month until all volunteers have been consolidated.

23. Has anyone put together a GANTT chart outlining the timing of the implementation schedule of all the items contained in this reorganization?

No.  This will be absolutely necessary, but depends on 1) formal approval of the Consolidation Proposal by a majority of Centers and 2) a precise count of the number of Centers that actually want to join.  So this task will be something the new ED will need to undertake after this information becomes known.

24. What’s the plan to build commitment to this change?  Manage resistance? Use power and influence?

The plan is to make the best case we can, and then let the chips fall where they may.  You can’t change a light bulb unless it WANTS to change.  The point of the joke is that the use of “force” or “power” would be highly counterproductive.  Consolidation will only work if men truly come to believe that it is in their own best interests.  They have to get there on their own.  Also, we recognize that the Center Director really has ALL of the power to make this go or not go.  The Center Director is the key to managing the variables within his own Community because he is the primary link between his Community and MKP USA.  The intention is to provide each Center Director with the tools and support to manage the conversation within his Center.

25. How will Joe Q. Member be informed throughout the change process?

Men from the Fund the Plan Committee are having one-on-one conversations with EVERY Center Director with the intent on determining interest in Consolidation, answering questions, introducing the Consolidation Credit and Super Credit and providing back up documentation that can be used with members of their Communities as well as an Action Plan template for reaching out to the Community.  We expect to continue to use the Center Director as the conduit for communications with his community.

IV. TRAINING ADMINISTRATION

26. How will the “GO/NO-GO” decision be made for an NWTA.  The training could go ahead and run at a loss or the decision to cancel an NWTA could also produce a financial loss.  How is the decision made?

For Consolidated Centers:

i.If it looks like a training will not break even, the Center Director (or the Area Administrator if there is one) will report to the MKP USA CFO two weeks before the training is scheduled.

ii.The Center Director or the Budget Committee may recommend cancellation if that will cost less money than proceeding with the training.

iii.If the Budget Committee recommends cancellation, the Center may still authorize the training to go forward, so long as it assumes the responsibility to make up the loss from its own resources (through fundraising, the surplus from other trainings or its Consolidation Credit).

For Centers not joining MKP USA:  Centers will set their own criteria for deciding, as they do today.

27. Would the Consolidation change the way a man registers for the NWTA?

Men will continue to be able to register on line or by sending in a check.  On-line payments would be entered immediately into a central accounting platform and credited to the training.  Checks will go to a single central address.  Paperwork will go to the CD or (optionally) Area Administrator.  The intent is that authorized personnel will be able to log on to the accounting platform and see in real time what payments have been cleared for each Trainee.

28. What about staff documents?

The Center (or Area Administrator if there is one) would handle staff documents.  Checks or online payments for staffing will be handled centrally.

29. What Training functions would the Center continue to handle?

Unless a Center joins an Area, Centers will continue to handle the same training functions they handle today.  Centers who do form an Area can expect their Area Administrator to handle most of the document handling and support functions.  There will still be the need for a man to point/coordinate the trainings for the Center (producing the outline, handling local logistics etc).  Enrollment/Invitation will always remain a local responsibility.  A goal of the new organization is to relieve each Center of much of the burdensome administrative chores of the weekend so that men in the Center can be free to focus on Open Circles, Open I-Groups etc. that will bring more men to the NWTA.

V.  I-GROUPS

30. How is MKP USA going to invest in I-Groups?

MKP USA will instill best practices and developing resources and trainings that can be shared with I-group chairs and facilitators.  The new Executive Director will make retention one of his primary focuses.  The new Marketing Director will be tasked to study why men do or do not join an I-Group and why they then leave so we can take steps to increase the ratio of men joining and decrease the ratio of men leaving.  That being said, the major thrust of Consolidation is to enroll more men and form more I-Groups.

31. What support will be delivered to my I-Group under the new configuration?

The new configuration will be “I-Group focused.”  The new organization will focus on supporting the man in his daily life through participation in his I-Group.  Currently I-Groups are supported by a Center I-Group Chair, who may or may not have local I-Group coordinators to assist him.  One of the new initiatives of the consolidated organization will be to open a new Leadership Track for I-Group Facilitation.  The men on this track will be tasked with helping to form, train, support, and provide crisis management to I-Groups.   The intention is that instead of having one man supporting thirty I-Groups, we might get that ratio down to one man supporting between 5 and 10 I-Groups.  As “stage of life” trainings become available they will made available to all I-Groups.

32. Are their prerequisites a person must posses in order to be eligible to be trained as an I-Group Facilitator?

Ability to lead, teach, inspire, facilitate, be creative, sense the group…almost every man can do it at some point.

33. Is this I-Group Facilitator a paid position?

NO.

34. Do these Facilitators lead I-Groups?

No.  There are many other places for a man to experience a men’s circle led by a single specialist.  One of the beauties of MKP is that our circles are flat:  every man does his work.  There is no intention to change this.  Men on the I-Group Facilitation leadership track are there to gain personal skills and mastery, which they can take back to their I-Groups and take out into the rest of their lives.

35. What impact will these changes have on my I-Group?

The spirit of MKP is to focus on individual initiative and personal integrity.  One of the primary potential impacts will be to bring a richer mix of training and support opportunities for I-Groups that want to take advantage of them.

36. What communication resources will MKP USA provide to I-groups?

The following:

i.The CAA database

ii.Center and Community List Serves (Announcements, Talk etc)

iii.The I-Group Facilitator

37. What training resources will MKP USA provide to I-groups?

There seems to be universal acknowledgement that I-groups get a boost when its members learn new personal growth methods.  Traditionally this has come from staffing, NWTA, LT, BSDT . . .or outside trainings.  With the organization focusing on “Men Mentoring Men . . .” there will be more opportunities to develop training and support tools specific to the I-Group experience.

VI. THE AREA CONCEPT

38. Does a Center have to belong to an Area?

No.  Centers will form Areas only when they expect to benefit from this move, and can get enough other Centers to buy in to the formation of an Area.  It is likely that the Northeast Centers will form the first Area; they are halfway there already.  They will prototype the Area concept for the rest of the Project, and we will all learn from their experience.

39. What would belonging to an Area do for a Center?

Areas would develop synergies of operations by sharing a common Administrator, rubbing shoulders in area meetings and sharing best practices. They will assist each other in enrollment and ensure that trainings of all sorts are not held on the same weekends.

The Area is a totally new concept, and is being proposed because the need for a greater level of communication, consistency and support from MKP to the member through local Centers. MKP has become too large, and to support 32 Centers with quality and consistency is very difficult.

Having an administrator for an area will consolidate the administrative workload to hire a full-time skilled professional.  This full time attention should bring more efficiency, consistency and continuity than several part-time volunteers.

40. What specific duties will an area Administrator take off the Center Director’s shoulders?

A good chunk of the planning and management for NWTAs and other trainings, and a good chunk of the paperwork processing for NWTAs.  The Area Administrator will be the link between the Centers and National. In a three-tier structure, the Area is the collator, synthesizer and filter for member’s voices. At the same time the Area will be the conveyor, implementer, and distributor of MKP USA programs, policies and information to the Centers. With an Area Board that is made up of Center representatives, there will be a defined communication linkage between member, Center, area and national.

41. How can an area administrator, who might live hundreds of miles away from the community he is serving, be as effective as someone who knows the local Center, its culture, its LB & Elders & LKS & enrollment practices, and its I-Groups & individual members?? Can he meet with someone in a local coffee shop and sign a man up days before a weekend?

The Area Administrator’s primary role will be to provide administrative support to each of the affiliated Centers. This would pertain to document handling, registration processing, training logistics.  The objective of this is to relieve the Center of much of the administrative responsibility so that Men in the Center can focus on the heart of the work – I-Group Support, Community Building, Invitation/Enrollment and Conducting Trainings.  Invitation and Enrollment will always be a 1 on 1 activity best done as locally as possible.  The Area Administrator’s function is not to be on the ground in the Centers; however, it will be their responsibility to get to know the local leaders. There will evolve over time an Area fabric that will include all of our programs: NWTA, LKS Leader Body, Elders, etc. It is foreseeable that there will evolve Area Conferences, where a greater sharing and brotherhood can transpire.

42. How will Centers be placed in areas?

First it is important to understand that being in an Area is a Center’s choice.  The most obvious and convenient way would be to start with geographically contiguous Centers.  There are certainly other factors to consider, including total number of I-Groups in the Area as well as the current number of NWTAs supported.

The Areas will be geographically contiguous, to keep travel to a minimum.  The Areas will grow by attraction, rather than by mandate. The evolution of a three-tier organization will be designed by our experience, strength, and commitment to create an organization that can serve men for generations. We evolved from an Area concept because of the geographical closeness of the founders and their followers. Because of the expansive growth, MKP Centers have become dispersed and isolated into silos. Consolidation is happening in the desire of an organization to survive, maintain the vision of the founders, and construct itself for the future. The Area concept is a desire to regain the closeness and connection along with efficiency.

43. Do Centers have any say in what areas they are assigned to?

Yes, within reason. The need for Areas is created by the need for a greater level of communication, coordinated decision-making, and continuity; therefore, to not be contiguous would be ambiguous and not constructive. Obviously, Centers that border other Areas can argue their placement.

44. Won’t the Area concept create another layer of “paid staff”?

Yes, it will bring about another layer of paid staff because our organization has outgrown what a volunteer can accomplish and requires the attention of a full-time professional.  Running the Training operation with volunteers and part-time staff is inadequate in providing the continuity, consistency, and quality deserved by our membership.  Many of the activities paid for by the Center would naturally go away as the “Administrivia” of various roles is absorbed by the Area and as the Regional Marketing function starts to make invitation/enrollment easier and as Centers join with the AREA to fill trainings on a “year round invitation” basis.  It should be noted that the Area will have a board that is driven by the member Centers, and is totally focused upon creating a dynamic program that attracts and retains members.

45. Other than the Area Administrator, what other paid area “managerial / training / operational positions” will there be?

None until the role clarifies itself enough to make sense.  This will probably evolve over time; however, this will come about with the demand by the Centers and members for more support and services.

VII. CENTERS THAT DO NOT CONSOLIDATE

 

46. What do Centers lose if they do not participate in the consolidation?

The following:

  1. Growth in enrollment and budgets that accrue from being part of MKP USA.
  2. Priority access to the new programs MKP USA will create for new trainings and new leadership tracks.
  3. Access to the new levels of automation that MKP USA will put in place to reduce its cost structure and support its consolidated Centers
  4. Access to Area support.
  5. Support from the new finance team regarding payments processing and collection.
  6. Input into the decision making of MKP USA surrounding operations and resource allocation.

Note that unconsolidated Centers will still participate in many of the Councils and Committees that currently exist in MKP USA.

47. Will a Center be able to call itself MKP if they choose not to participate?

Yes, provided they continue to meet all of the standards and requirements that are mandated presently.

48. Will the fees a Center pays MKP USA change if a Center chooses not to participate in consolidation?

While the exact details remain to be worked out, the concept is simple:  Centers who choose not to consolidate will be left with as close as possible to the same cost structure they have today, with the exception that MKP USA will ask to be compensated for any direct benefits it provides beyond the current arrangement.  For example, MKP will ask for a Marketing Fee for every NWTA registration it brings to a Non-Consolidated Center, which is a direct and measurable benefit from the funding MKP USA is dedicating to marketing,

VIII.  FINANCE

 

49. If MKP USA collects all revenues a Center earns, then how do we cover our expenses?

The MKP USA CFO will move funds from the national account into each Center’s local account to cover the budgeted expenses for each month.

50. What do we get for any money we give?  In other words, what specific actions, plans, services, benefits, and support do we receive from MKP USA?

The primary answer is growth.  The point of consolidation is to enable us to concentrate our limited surplus and invest it in our own growth primarily through stronger marketing and enrollment programs.  With growth ultimately comes larger budgets and bigger communities, two things that most Centers say they want.

But there are two additional important benefits that are a part of the larger reform effort.  The first is the development of a new series of trainings aimed at engaging men AFTER they have gone through an NWTA.  We aim to provide trainings on Death and Dying, Divorce, Fatherhood, Elderhood and other topics where we can help a man as he goes through the major stages of his life, especially for certain topics that are largely taboo in our society, but where our ability to build safe containers can unlock the taboo.

The second additional benefit is the development of new Leadership paths, specifically for I-Group Facilitation, Missions of Service (Social Entrepreneurship) and Community Leadership.  We expect that these new leadership tracks will engage a lot more men that the single leadership track we have today for leading NWTAs.

51. Will specific Centers or Areas receive funding to be used for the creation of new Centers?

The “how” of the creation of New Centers is a good question.  Right now we seem to add Centers primarily by creating them in areas where currently there is no governing Center (Hawaii, Florida).  In this scenario, we believe we will have a better opportunity of creating new Centers by calving existing Centers as growth, size and span of control dictate.  But as growth resumes and our budget gets healthier, the answer to this question is YES!

52. Is there a pro-forma P&L and Balance Sheet for the consolidated entity going 2 or 3 year out?

There is a team working on this right now, with projections going 5 years out.  We hope to have this ready to publish before Glen Ivy in February.

53. Are there pro-forma financial statements that show how quickly the “death spiral” will occur if our structure remains unchanged?

We are building a pro forma for the consolidated entity, but not one for business as usual.  Based on ACT II and any reasonable reading of the trends, the end state for business as usual is pretty bleak.  As you say, the question is really “how quickly” we hit the ground.  We believe that Centers that have an asset reserve (MKPNE, MKP-NW, NorCal, Philly, etc.) will be fine – for a while.  There are other Centers that are just making it year to year.  It is likely that there will not be ONE BIG CRASH but rather a series of smaller crashes.

54. How much “seed money” did MKP USA receive from MKPI for its first year, and what has been done/accomplished with that money thus far?

MKP USA has always been the “granary” of the organization.  The 2010 unified MKP budget was divided between MKP USA and MKPI when the split occurred.  There was no seed money.  What little money there was in that budget has been used for normal operations and to meet payroll for the 4 individuals employed by National.

55. Where does MKP USA stand in relation to money flow with regard to MKPI and the individual U.S. MKP Centers?  In other words, when we pay money to MKPI from each of our trainings, does MKP USA get any?  It would be nice to see a flow diagram or some explanation of money flows/loops for MKPI, MKP USA, and Individual Center

All of the roughly $145 each U.S. Center currently contributes per man trained through an NWTA goes to MKP USA, but MKP USA in turn then remits most of that money to MKPI for the use of the Intellectual Property embodied in the NWTA.  The precise split was never determined when MKPI was created and is still under negotiation.

56. What happens to the cash and assets in my Center after consolidation?

The cash and assets of your Center become part of the consolidated non-profit corporation for MKP USA.  The cash will be invested in growing enrollment and revenues.  However, any cash that a Center brings to the consolidation is credited to that Center on a dollar for dollar basis in the form of a “Consolidation Credit.”  A Center with $10,000 in the bank at the time of consolidation will get a $10,000 Consolidation Credit.  Up to 15% of this credit may be drawn down, each year, to make up any shortfall in its budgeted operations.  In this way, funds that are currently held against a “rainy day” are still available for rainy day shortfalls.

57. What is the Fund The Plan Campaign?

The Fund The Plan Campaign is an effort to raise $400K to be able to afford the first year of the reorganization.  All funds raised in this campaign are committed to specific expenditures, including bringing in a new Executive Director with deep non-profit experience, hiring a Marketing specialist and a Development (fund-raising) specialist and providing the marketing specialist with a small marketing budget.  The intent is that after the first year, these additional expenses become self-funding through the increase in enrollment and fund raising that they generate.

58. Who is contributing to the Fund The Plan Campaign?

Contributions are being sought from individuals within the Project and also from Centers.  As an incentive to Centers to contribute, MKP USA is offering a “Special Consolidation Credit” of $1.50 for every $1.00 contributed before Glen Ivy starts (February 4th, 2011).

59. How are monies paid by a Center PRIOR to Glen Ivy (1.5 x Credit) and prior to Joining (1.0X Credit) going to be paid?  Is it a pledge to be paid at a certain point; money held in trust until a trigger point to be release?

Contributions can be made by check or pledge.  No money will be released to MKP until the Fund the Plan Campaign has reached the minimum campaign trigger level of $400K.  If the campaign fails to reach this trigger level by July 1st of 2011, all donations will be returned.  Also, if a Center contributes to the campaign and ultimately does not consolidate for any reason, its donation will be returned.

60. Under the single corporation concept, how will financial reporting requirements change, if at all?

The burden of financial reporting and filing tax returns will be shifted entirely from the shoulders of the Centers onto MKP USA.   Certain accounting processes will still need to be maintained at the Center level, since each Center will still maintain a separate checking account for local expenditures.  The intent is to purchase a common accounting platform for use by all Centers to minimize this burden.

61. Will Centers be ALLOWED to end the year in deficit or will we insist on actions taken earlier to close PROJECTED deficits?

When a Center starts to get materially off budget, it will certainly be the duty of the Budget Committee to start a conversation about measures to fix the problem.  When a Center ends the year with a budget deficit they will be asked to either make up that deficit with some of their Consolidation Credit or they will need to do local fund raising or otherwise figure out to make up for the deficit.  MKP USA will not finance deficit spending except for disbursing Consolidation Credits.

62. What happens to a surplus?  Right now any surplus our Center generates goes into our reserve fund.  How are we rewarded for producing a SURPLUS?  If there is no incentive, aren’t we encouraging Centers to spend up to their income OR inflate budgets for the same purpose.  In either case, we get into the corporate Mickey Mouse budget game.

This is a very good point.  Each center will be asked to produce a budget that is in surplus, so that surplus can be used by National to cover our national expenses and to invest in our growth.  Centers that produce little or no surplus will get smaller budgets the next year.  Centers that do produce respectable surpluses will get bigger budgets next year.  In most nonprofits, this has proved to be a sufficiently powerful incentive.  However, your question is worthy of further study to see what mechanics other non-profits have used to address this issue, especially when local actors are not paid professionals motivated by the prospect of bonuses for good performance.

63. Will Centers still have to maintain a local Treasurer and, if so, what financial reporting will s/he be required to make?

Yes.  Centers will still need to maintain local checking accounts for local expenses (such as the food the MOS King purchases for a training, or the expenses for a Community Day) and a local scholarship fund.  Centers will therefore need someone to issue checks and enter accounting transactions to account for the flow of funds through this checking account.  The intent is to purchase a common accounting platform that all local Centers can access for this purpose.  No other financial reporting or tax filing will be necessary beyond this one set of duties.

64. Under what circumstance will a Center be allowed to pay a stipend to their CD, Treasurer, Training Administrator, Secretary, Etc.?

A Center can pay a stipend, or incur any other expense it wants to, as long as it can credibly produce a budget that generates a surplus sufficient to cover its share of the national budget.  To keep things on a level playing field, we will probably want to use a percentage approach, i.e. a Center budget needs to generate a surplus of at least 20% of its revenues.  For the remaining 80%, a Center can decide how it wants to spend that money for itself.

65. What is the maximum amount of Center liabilities MKP USA is willing to take on?

This also depends upon the Center’s cash balance and its asset base.  It is unlikely that MKP USA will be willing to take on a Center with a negative net worth.  It is essential that we be able to warrant to any Center that consolidates that they are not linking their fortunes to a sinking ship.

66. Besides training revenues (NWTA, LT1, etc.) our local Center has 8 to 10 other revenue streams each year (local phone-a-thon, car donations, yard sales, talent show & auction, scholarship donations, dance fundraiser, newsletter ads, fund raisers with other organizations, business leads, etc.). Why would we want to continue these activities under a centralized financial system?

Great question!  The answer is because all of these revenue elements become part of your budget and therefore they enable you to do more things with a larger budget.

67. How will our restricted funds be treated?

They will remain restricted.  However, restricted funds will not qualify for a Consolidation Credit (see Question 55).

68. How will unbudgeted expenses be handled ($3K for promotional brochures, purchase of a printer, etc.)?

Each Center budget is going to need an expense item for Miscellaneous Purchases.  If the unbudgeted spending busts this amount, then the Center will have to make it up somewhere else, either with more revenues or fewer expenses from other activities.

69. Our Center has a Lodge. How will property taxes, gas, elect, water, insurance, etc. for this Lodge be handled?

You will include these expenses in your Center budget, just as you do today.  Assuming that the budget is approved, the MKP USA CFO will sweep funds to cover these expenses into your Center Account and you will pay them from your local checking account.  If your overall budget meets the required surplus, approval will not be an issue.

70. The Fund The Plan budget calls for $100K for Marketing.  What, specifically, will we spend this $100K on? An observation – political campaigns spend millions of dollars in a very small demographic area to get out a candidates 2/3 ideas message. Why do we think that spending $100K over the entire U.S. will be effective?

We agree with you.  Spending this tiny budget on advertising would be ridiculous.  The intent is to spend this budget primarily on the following activities:

i.Travel.  We will be sending gifted speakers from our communities to speak at events and conferences where we think we can reach large numbers of people.  We will also be sending them to conferences and events for Mental Health workers and Social Workers, any one of who could send us 3-5 men a year (this is based on some actual experience).

ii.Events.  We will be looking to partner with other non-profits in the Human Awareness segment to co-sponsor events where we think we can attract large audiences for presentations on our work.

iii.Web Marketing.  We will be making every effort to make sure that when an NWTA prospect researches us on the web, the first thing they find is something more positive than an assertion that we are a cult that kills people when we are not running around naked in the woods beating drums.

Insurance is MKP’s biggest fixed line item expense, after salaries. Do we know the impact of consolidation on our insurance costs?

The impact of consolidation will be minimal.  Insurance costs are based primarily on the number of participant-days of our trainings and the number of training sites.  In fact, consolidation may save us money.  Currently MKP Houston is the only US Center which is not a named insured on our Philadelphia Liability and Directors and Officers policies.  Currently Houston does not to participate in our group IRS exemption, which was the criteria used by Philadelphia to determine if centers could be considered subsidiaries, and thus able to participate in MKP USA’s policy.  If Houston becomes part of the consolidation, overall insurance costs will drop because they will be able to participate in the MKP policies.  This would probably mean a few thousand dollars in savings.

There appears to be a significant financial debt burden that MKP may need to assume if they integrate Centers that may need to file for bankruptcy protection. Has anyone measured what financial and legal impact there will be if these Centers are integrated and their debts and liabilities are assumed versus letting them file for bankruptcy and essentially starting over again in those cities with a clean slate?

Before any Center actually consolidates, both the Center and MKP USA will go through a “due diligence” period to study whether consolidation makes sense for both parties.  During this period, MKP USA will be making a decision as to whether a Center carries so much “liability” – financial or otherwise – that “accepting” them into the Consolidated Organization would be too risky.  BOTH the Center AND MKP USA will need to say “I do” before Consolidation of that Center can occur.

What does the Financial End-State look like after Consolidation?

Budgeting: Each year a Center will be asked to prepare an annual budget for its operations in the coming year, showing revenue and expense by month (this monthly view is critical, see Disbursements below for why).   This budget will need to show a surplus of approximately 20% in order to also cover the expenses incurred at the national level.  The budget will need to be approved first by the Center Council.  It will then be submitted to a Budget Committee comprised of the MKP USA Executive Director (or designee), the MKP USA CFO (or designee), and three Center Council representatives (or designees)for approval.  Some negotiation and modification may ensue before the budget gets final approval.   Once a budget is approved, the intention is that the CFO will provide each Center with monthly reports on “plan vs. actual” so that Centers can make mid-course corrections.  The Budget Committee will participate at least quarterly in a financial review.

 

Receipts: All receipts (trainings, NWTAs, LT Training, staff fees, etc.) will be deposited into an MKP USA Account.  The exception is that funds raised by local fund raising efforts, including restricted scholarship funds, will be deposited directly into the appropriate Center bank account.  The national finance function will take responsibility for setting up payment plans and for managing the collection of all fees due.

 

Disbursements: Some expenses, such as insurance, will be paid directly by the national finance function.  Local expenses will be paid out of a Center’s local checking account.  At the start of each month, the MKP USA CFO will sweep the funds required to meet each Center’s budgeted expenses for that month into the local checking account so that it can meet its obligations.   The intention is to try to move as much of the check-writing burden as possible off of the Centers and onto the national organization.  This will minimize both the financial transactions a Center needs to manage and the associated accounting entries it has to make.  So, for example, Leader Fees for trainings will likely migrate to national.

 

Fund Raising: Centers may do normal fund raising in order to supplement their revenues.  The desired end state is that all fund raising (local and national) will be coordinated and mutually supportive of common goals.

 

Extraordinary Expenses: It is well understood that at times a Center may need to make expenditures that were not budgeted, such as replacing a damaged trailer.  Such additional expenditures need to be cleared with the CFO first, but will approved if judged reasonable and necessary.

 

Cash Management: The balances in Center accounts are national assets, and the MKP USA CFO will have the ability to sweep funds into and out of these accounts.  What a Center gets is not the cash in its account, but the commitment that its budgeted expenses, and any extraordinary expenses that are approved, will be funded.  The exception is that when a Center is materially deficient in making its revenue projections, the CFO may also cut back its expense allocation.  Balances held by the Center for restricted purposes, including local scholarship funds, will remain locally controlled and not subject to transfer.

 

Paid Staff: ALL paid Center staff will become employees of MKP USA and report to the Executive Director or other staff.  Such employees will have other reporting relationships such as to an Area Board or Center Council.  All 1099 relationships will be reviewed to insure that they comply with Federal and State employment regulations.

Will local Centers be able to obtain riders on the corporation’s insurance for special events they wish to run?

As far as getting insurance for special events, we believe that very little will change for Centers that consolidate.  It is possible that, because it is all one organization that such insurance would be easier to secure.  See above.

Are you suggesting that Centers try to survive on the income from two trainings a year?   Where are their 5-7 other revenue streams?

No!  One of the purposes of the Consolidation is to create the funding that can be used to develop new trainings and leadership tracks that will in turn create additional and sustainable streams of income.  ACT II clearly pointed out the problem with relying on NWTAs as the primary (or sole) source of income.  To become sustainable in the future, MKP USA must move to a “member” supported financial base with the NWTA becoming one of many revenue streams.  Centers are strongly encouraged to continue with whatever other revenue generating activities they are currently conducting.   One Center provided the following list of other revenues they generated: local phone-a-thon, car donations, yard sales, talent show & auction, scholarship donations, dance fundraiser, newsletter ads and fund raisers with other organizations.

How will finances be handled for things like men on payment plans?

The national finance staff will handle this function post-consolidation.  Some centers have reported that they are losing tens of thousands of dollars each year because they cannot effectively follow up with collection efforts on these plans.  This is one area where a finance professional at National can capture a large source of income currently going begging.

How will scholarship funds be handled?

Funds earmarked for local scholarships remain under the control of the Center that raised them, and can be used to fund local men through an NWTA.  Funds raised nationally for this purpose will go into a National Scholarship fund, to which Centers may apply when they have a need.

My experience with working with the MKP USA (formerly MKPI) finances is that it takes too long to get the money (deposits) paid via the web-site and too many errors are made in the handling of expenses and reimbursements.  How will this be any different in the Consolidated organization?

While undeniably true, this is also true of Center finances as well.  The national finance team will be expanded to give it the capacity to respond quickly, and empowered with a better accounting package to work with.  Improved payments processing, revenue collection, check writing, and financial controls are among of the major benefits the whole organization should reap from Consolidation.

Certainly having the institution take over the financial piece is a good thing. However I am not willing to give up the flexibility of a local spending account. I certainly would like to see some dialogue about what’s appropriate to send in as an expense? Who controls what a community can buy for itself? What is the institution willing to pay for on the local level? What will they not be willing to pay for?

We agree that a local checking account for local disbursements is essential.  The controls for what a community can purchase locally are all built into the budget negotiations between a Center and the Budget Committee.  These will be based on common sense, and may vary from community to community.  Some communities may want to offload as much as possible onto the national functions and others may wish for more local control.  As long as the budget is met, it’s all good.

Under the single corporation concept, how would the rental or ownership of real estate be affected?

Existing leases and deeds would need to be transferred over the MKP USA.  For new transactions, a Center would need to get the approval of the CFO for the transaction, and be able to demonstrate that their budget could support the associated expenses.

IX.  GENERAL

What are the Organizational Shadows that you are aware of?

Good question.  Tough Question.  By definition, we probably AREN’T aware of most of them.  One clear shadow is that MKP has a long and torrid history of “Us vs. Them” divisions, which is essentially an issue of trust.  If we are to function effectively as a consolidated organization, we are going to have to start trusting each other a LOT more, and also trust that our processes are effective at weeding out bad actors.  Another clear shadow in this organization is that money is bad, and that those who seek to profit from our work are corrupt.   This certainly is a challenge to anyone trying to fix our tattered finances.  A final shadow is that we have not operated very professionally as a non-profit over the last 25 years.  If we are to consolidate, with National operation that has stewardship over our funds, we will need to operate at a much higher level of professionalism.   If you are asking this question at an even deeper level, which is “what shadows might the men writing this FAQ hold?”, then we own that we are aware of a shadow our committee collectively holds, which is a deep rooted fear that if we don’t succeed in this reform effort, our beloved organization might be gone in less than 5 years, and we acknowledge that fear is usually not the best of inspirations.

Who is motivated and accountable (to whom) for the solvency and prosperity for each area/Center/region?

The whole chain of command, from the CD, to the Center Council, to the Area Administrator (if one exists) and up to and especially the CFO and the ED.  There is a famous saying that “that which gets measured gets done.”  The national finance organization will need to produce regular “Plan vs. Budget” reports in order to help the rest of the organization stay on top of this.  However, while solvency is necessary, it is growth and retention metrics that we will really be concentrating on.  The purpose of all this effort is to reach more men.

Who has the motivation/accountability/authority to intervene/assist a non-profitable area/Center? Under what circumstances?

The CFO and the ED have this authority and the necessary motivation (their pay depends upon it).  The circumstances under which this could become necessary are when a Center is performing materially under budget.  The lever of control is the purse strings.   However, the national staff will have to tread a careful line between honoring a Center’s sovereignty and their responsibilities to the rest of the Project to make sure that no Center is dragging down the others.

Under the single corporation concept, can we do away with local articles of incorporation, by-laws, maintaining local minutes, etc.?

Yes.  In fact, in order to consolidate, the local non-profit corporation must voluntarily dissolve and move its assets into the non-profit corporation for MKP USA.  There would then be no legal or tax reason to keep minutes etc.  However, it is perfectly possible that a Center may want to keep their by-laws as the “protocols” for their Center and maintain minutes of their governing council as a matter of continuing to operate by the same “rules” as they always have.

Under the single corporation concept, what incentive will Centers have to fill a training?

If they fill trainings, they will make or exceed their budgets, with the expectation that they will be able to justify a larger budget next year.  If they don’t, they can expect a smaller budget next year.  The Darwinian motivation is still loud and clear.

Can a Center, under the single corporation concept, accidentally engage in a non-exempt activity (non-charitable activity) and jeopardize the entire MKP USA exempt status?

We see this as less likely to happen under a Consolidated organization than the one we have today.  But this has always been a risk for us.

When all of our independent Center non-profit corporations consolidate back into a single corporation, is it possible for MKP USA to experience a catastrophic loss or adverse court judgment and have the assets located at any Center subject to forfeiture?

Yes.  Under Consolidation, there is always the possibility of a catastrophic loss or adverse court judgment at one Center that could affect the assets held by all Centers in MKP USA.  After a Center consolidates its assets become part of the WHOLE and therefore subject to the negative as well as positive fortunes of the WHOLE.   However, please consider that we are trading this risk against the risk of shrinking into insignificance or extinction.

Who is going to create the new revenue producing trainings and by when?? Will this not take quite some time to create, pilot, training the trainers, etc. – and roll out – evaluate to see that they are effective?

There are men who are already working on new curricula.  Part of the difficulty here, of course, is generating enough income to pay for this work – which is time consuming.  We have here a perfect chicken and egg problem.  It takes money to build new curricula and we will not get the money to build new curricula without consolidating.  In the interim we plan to start acquiring the rights to various trainings that have already been developed by various Men in the community and offering these to Centers as additional revenue items and additional ways to engage with our men.  Trainings specifically geared to I-Group support and Community Leadership (LT4) will be a priority.

Who is going to create, pilot, train the trainer, roll out and evaluate the new leadership tracks and by when?

Ultimately, the responsibility for this falls on the new Executive Director.  However, special committees formed for this purpose will do the actual work.

Who is going to train the Center Director’s to run a Center? Train the area administrators? Train the I-Group facilitators? Mission folks? Community Outreach, etc?

The men who develop the new Leadership paths (I-Group Facilitation, Missions of Service and Community Leadership) will likely be the ones to “train the trainers.”  The initial trainers are likely to be men from the Leader body who are willing to run new trainings.  Ultimately, we expect that these paths will start to generate trainers from among the ranks of their own graduates.  Also, with the advent of the Area and closely affiliated Centers in each Area, these functions have a better opportunity to receive local (read Area) support in terms of training as well as the communication of best practices.

I hear us talking about having an ED with a staff of Marketing, Enrollment, Development, Operations, Information and Finance. Will any of this staff create all the revenue producing training programs? Leadership programs?

No.  These professionals can help to fill trainings and leadership tracks, but they are not the domain experts we need in order to create these programs.  The expertise for new trainings will need to come from our Leader Body and from other men within the project who are domain experts in their professional lives.  Ditto for new leadership tracks.  What these paid professionals CAN do is help us implement these new programs.   It is critical to appreciate that Consolidation is just one of the elements of reform.  Creating the new trainings and the new leadership tracks are separate elements of reform, but every bit as necessary.  Consolidation alone will not reverse our decline.

 

Will Centers or Areas develop and execute the Member Relations Cycles?  (1. Know their members.  2. Communicate with them.  3. Serve them.  4. Gain their support.)

Executing the member relations cycle needs to include every level of the organization from MKP USA up to the Man sitting in circle (which, by definition includes the Center and Area).  It would need to find its impetus at the MKP USA level and be actualized through the AREA, CENTER, COMMUNITY and I-Group.

What operations, specifically, will “professional staffers” specialize in that are now being performed by volunteers?  Who will train these professional staffers?

Executive Director, Marketing, Development, Enrollment, Area Administrators, Payment Processing.  Since these are professional positions, we can expect to hire qualified people from the marketplace.  The only one that would need some specialized training would possibly be the Area Administrator.  If the Men hired to do these roles are full time AND hired based on a rigorous assessment of their talents, training and experience then even the Area Administrator ought to require minimal training.   In the future there will be a need for a Curriculum Development Specialist as well.

What determines a “failing Center” and where will we find the men with the expertise to turn them around and won’t this be a rather long-term endeavor?

This is a very delicate issue.  MKP USA ultimately exists to create healthy Centers with growing communities.  The self-governance of these communities is one of the bedrocks of our organization.  While consolidation gives MKP USA a stronger role in Center finances, it is NOT intended to impair the self-governance of Centers.  The primary responsibility that the Executive Director and CFO have in this regard is to make sure that a Center that is failing financially does not drag down the rest of the organization.  So a Center that is failing financially is likely to find that its purse strings are getting cut until someone from the local community steps up to fixing the problem.  There is no conception, at least currently, that our small National staff would ever be able to try to take over a failing Center.  At best they could offer advice and assistance to a local change agent.

Loss of local control & flexibility & energy & involvement & scholarship donations & culture & direction & vision could be very problematic.

We completely agree that if we kill local energy, we kill the Project.  Period.  The key here is ownership.  Centers will still own their own governance and operations, and manage their own communities.  If there is no loss of ownership, there should not be any loss of the other good things we all enjoy.  The only change that Consolidation is intended to bring is that Centers will have to co-create their budgets with National.   You have to consider that there are literally hundreds of men actively involved in staffing our Centers.  Even after the proposed expansion, the National support team will be just 7-9 paid professionals.  They are going to have very little bandwidth or scope for the kind of power plays that men fear.  It will be all they can manage to provide the services they are tasked to provide.  The lion’s share of what we do will get decided and done where it has always gotten decided and done, at the Center level.

How large will the central staff be? The area staff?

Central Staff:

  1. Executive Director (Existing Position)
  2. CFO (Existing Position)
  3. Operations Manager (Existing Position)
  4. IT Specialist (Existing Position)
  5. Marketing Specialist (New Position; Fund The Plan Budget)
  6. Development Specialist (New Position; Fund The Plan Budget)

vii.  Payments Processor (New Position; Currently unfunded but likely self-funding from improved collections of unpaid fees)

viii.Enrollment Specialist (Possible New Position; Unfunded)

  1. Admin (Possible New Position; Unfunded)

Area Staff:  Area Administrator (and no one else, at least to start with, until a more clear picture is generated around duties and cash flow.)

In the AA model “every group ought to be completely autonomous except in matters that involves other groups or the organization as a whole.” How does this play out with the Consolidation model as regards Centers, Communities and I-Groups?

The AA model, although much beloved within MKP, is actually a very bad match for our organization.  What makes AA work so spectacularly well is that people KNOW when they need AA, and why.  No one knows when they need MKP, nor why.  AA functions using the “law of attraction” and is quite viral.  After 25 years, we can say conclusively that the law of attraction does not work for us, and there is nothing viral about our offering.  Accordingly, we need to actively explain to the world what our gold is, and why men should come.  This is otherwise known as marketing.  It takes concentrated resources to be able to afford this, which is precisely why Consolidation makes sense for us.  There are a significant number of men who strongly oppose marketing within our organization.  The Stanford ACT project pointed out that all of the successful non-profits they studied that were comparable to MKP actively marketed their organizations to prospective members.  If we don’t centralize, we can’t afford to market.  If we don’t market, we continue to shrink.

Why should we “bail out” other Centers?

You shouldn’t.  The impetus for a strong Center to join Consolidation is not to “bail out” weaker centers, but rather to help themselves grow even faster and to ensure their own fortunes against ultimately meeting the same fate.  Consolidation is about getting growth back on track, not about bailing out other Centers.  However, in truth, we hold that we are ALL weaker operating alone than we could be operating together.

How will Areas interface with the MKP USA Council? How will this be different than the interface the Center Council has with the MKP USA Council?

Speaking as a CD myself, I have VERY LITTLE interface with the MKP USA Council.  I believe this is true for most Centers who do not have a Man (or friend from another Community) on the MKP USA Council.  It seems to me that it would be easy to evolve to an AREA COUNCIL made up of the Center Directors from each Center.  The Area Administrator would report to both the Executive Director and to the Area Council through a Council Chair.  (Dual reporting relationships are common in many organizations.)   One possibility would be for the each AREA (5-8 in number) to elect a representative to the MKP USA Council, providing a stronger link to the individual Center than exists now.

I did not see any mention of how intellectual property rights would be managed in various levels of integration plans and who will own them if the Integration Plan fails and many Centers end up reverting back to operating as separate stand alone non-profit organizations.

All intellectual property rights in the NWTA are now owned by MKPI.  The MKP USA region currently pays a royalty for the right to use the NWTA protocols just like any other region.  If the consolidated MKP USA fails, Centers will always be able to license the intellectual property directly from MKPI.

What current or pending litigation could impact the financial health and reputation of the newly formed MKP USA organization?

We only know of one lawsuit in LA.  It will be damaging, but involved third parties acting far beyond our control, and to the best of our knowledge, we are not directly named in the suit.

How will dissolving a Center (that includes both MKP and non-MKP activities as necessary) serve those men/activities outside the scope of MKP?  In the dissolution/consolidation proposal, what happens to those aspects (e.g., activities, men, etc) of a Center that do not fit (or choose not to fit) within MKP?

A Center that has significant non-MKP activities may be better off staying unconsolidated.  Our need to carefully comply with the restrictions on our insurance policy is not going to allow us to support many non-MKP activities.  That being said, we are looking at ways to improve our flexibility in this area so that we can incorporate more activities.

What does it MEAN to be a “MEMBER?”  What if the initiated man who does not choose to enroll as a member? Do we leave him outside the Brotherhood and disenfranchise him?

Anyone who completes the NWTA is automatically a member of MKPI, the global umbrella organization for all Centers.  This year, with the creation of the U.S. region, we began to define MKP USA. One becomes a member of MKP USA by financially supporting the work we do.  A man becomes a member of the Sierra Club or the NRA because he believes in that cause and pays a membership fee.   Likewise, a man becomes a member of MKP USA because believes in our mission and supports us with his membership fee.  Membership in MKP USA is voluntary and not becoming a member definitely does not disenfranchise a man from participating in any of the programs, services or trainings provided by MKP USA.

To reach the MKP-USA Structure Committee and provide feedback, please use the following points of contact:

 

E-Mail:  structure-committee@mailman.mkp.org

The ManKind Project is a global nonprofit [501 (c)(3)] charitable organization that conducts challenging and highly rewarding programs for men at every stage of life. The ManKind Project supports a global network of peer-facilitated men's groups where men mentor men through the passages of their lives. The ManKind Project empowers men to missions of service, supporting men to make a difference in the lives of men, women, and children around the world. We help men through any transition, men at all levels of success, men facing almost any challenge. Our flagship training, described by many as the most powerful men's training available, is the New Warrior Training Adventure. The ManKind Project (MKP) is not affiliated with any religious practice or political party. We strive to be increasingly inclusive and culturally aware.