MKP Reorg – Framework

The ManKind Project USA

Reorganization Framework

I. The Background

The presentation at Glen Ivy in February of 2010 by the Stanford ACT team of a well-researched, direct evaluation of where MKP USA stands – on the edge of financial collapse – galvanized the newly formed MKP USA Council and Executive Team to address the central ACT II message: Consolidate to have any hope of long-term growth. They charged the Structure Committee with formulating a proposal by which the 33 separate non-profit corporations that comprise MKP USA could consolidate into a single corporation.  This would allow MKP USA to focus resources and finances for centralized marketing, enrollment growth, and fund raising — the norm for most successful non-profits.
David Bauerly appointed Robert Powell, At Large Executive Team Member, as Chair of the Structure Committee.  Robert recruited Mike Elser (CD, MKP New England), Chris Kyle (Board Chair, MKP NorCal), and David Kaar, former Chairman, to serve on the Committee. In addition, Executive Director Carl Griesser was a constant and active participant, and Chris Jaffe (CD, MKP Chicago), Greg Gondron (CD, MKP Houston), Michael Bilkis (CD, MKP NJ), and Howard Czoschke (MKP Wisconsin) participated as consultants and advisors.  Most significantly, Bruce Maxwell of Stanford ACT became a key member and invaluable resource.  The Committee met at first monthly, then bi-weekly, and, for the last few months, weekly.

We initially published a working document entitled Consolidation Proposal Straw Man in October of 2010 to share our best thinking and solicit feedback from the community.  This document and the Reorganization FAQ incorporate the feedback we received and present our recommendations for reorganizing MKP USA to implement the ACT II findings.  We are asking the Center and MKP USA Councils to approve this framework in principle in Glen Ivy in February, in accordance with the ACT II Recommendations adopted at Glen Ivy in February, 2010.

II. The Goal

From the beginning, we chose to look at how the Consolidation Proposal could form the backbone for creating something new: a conscious organization of Men in Circles, joined together by open communication and on-going learning and personal growth, in service to each other and the world, without burnout and needless turnover.

The intention thus became to reform the organization.  We identified three components of this reformation:

  1. Consolidate into a single non-profit corporation so that we can pool our resources for growth;
  2. Restructure the organization to make it I-Group-centric rather than NWTA-centric; and,
  3. Provide the content (new trainings and leadership tracks) needed to continuously engage our membership in new learning opportunities so that MKP remains relevant and helpful in their lives.

This Reorganization Framework articulates the details of the first two components of this reform.  But, first, we want to set it into the context of our larger goal.
III. The Vision

At the center is the New Warrior – a man interested in finding and living his Mission with other men and women.  He sits in a Circle, an I-Group, with other MKP USA members, most of whom, but not necessarily all, have taken the New Warrior Training Adventure.  Some may be seeking, but not yet sure they want to do, a Weekend.  Although all men who have completed the NWTA are New Warriors, a man who is a Member of MKP USA contributes time, effort, talent and money to the ManKind Project’s work through the USA Region.  He also has a sense of how he is connected to a network of men making a difference to their families, their communities, and the world.
His I-Group is one of a number of I-Groups joined together by geography into a Community of I-Groups.  Each Community is supported by an I-Group Facilitator, a man trained in small group dynamics and facilitation.  This Facilitator is a conduit of communication among the various I-Groups and between this Community of I-Groups and the neighboring Communities of I-Groups.  This Facilitator and his fellow Facilitators consult on how their Communities can be strengthened and supported.  Each Facilitator is on an I-Group Leadership Path and working toward I-Group Facilitation Leadership Certification.  This Certification Path is similar to the one Leaders in Training walk toward NWTA Leader Certification and the paths men walk to being certified as a Water Pourer, LKS Headman or Ritual Elder.  Each Facilitator is a member of the Council of I-Group Facilitators.

Centers have always been comprised of several Communities of I-Groups.  The difference will be that these revitalized Centers are I-Group-centric and focused on serving each man in the I-Group.  While inviting men to sit in “circles of men” and do men’s work will always be a role every New Warrior Brother plays, recruiting new men will not be limited to the Center.  More men will be attracted to becoming New Warriors based on how MKP is “seen” in the world.  Men will be attracted to sit in our circles through effective MKP USA Marketing efforts, as well as through the personal invitation of New Warriors.

Centers still host NWTAs, provide staff and logistical support, maintain collaborative relationships with training camps and other sites, but without many of the associated administrative burdens.  These administrative burdens are now borne at the AREA level leaving the Center leadership team to better focus on I-Group support, Community Building, Pointing trainings and Enrollment/Invitation.

AREAS will begin as an option for existing Centers that decide to join together to take advantage of geography and economies of scale that can be generated by their union.  As MKP USA grows and more Communites come into being, it may happen that the Area concept will come to form the administrative spine of the training operations of MKP USA.

Although being part of an Area is entirely voluntary, most Centers will find it invaluable to have the support that comes from being affiliated with an Area.  A paid Administrator at the Area level provides administrative and logistics support to each affiliated Center for running NWTAs and other trainings.  The Administrator is an employee of MKP USA and reports to an “Area Council” made up of the Center Director of each affiliated Center.

Each Area is made of 4 to 8 Centers.  Because of their geographic proximity or existing inter-Center relationships these likely to be Centers that have naturally worked together in the past.  Now with the Area in place, they are able to communicate more easily around scheduling, allocating resources, sharing of best practices, etc.  Gone are the days of Centers operating in isolation.

Areas and Centers are supported by the National staff at MKP USA.   Leading this National staff is an Executive Director with a proven track record of leading non-profit organizations like MKP USA.  His staff now includes a full time professional Marketing Director who is actively bringing the story of MKP to the world as well as a Development Director who is finding great success in tapping corporate philanthropy and foundation giving.
The MKP USA Council remains the policy-making body for all of MKP USA, with the Center Council providing the representative voice of the membership and the Executive Team providing the strategic deliberations and tactical responses required for a vital organization.

VI. Benefits

Why reorganize?  The benefits include:

  1. Generate growth in enrollment so that trainings become profitable instead of cancelled and our work begins to reach a lot more men.
  2. Increase our revenue base and external fundraising efforts so that Centers enjoy growing budgets and the ability to support more local programs.
  3. Add new trainings and leadership tracks so that initiated men experience MKP as relevant to their lives and a much stronger connection with their communities.
  4. Develop a robust Member Relations Cycle to strengthen the relationship between the organization and every New Warrior Brother.
  5. Develop new programs to increase the ratio of initiates joining I-Groups and increase the retention of men in I-Groups.
  6. Reduce volunteer burnout by moving many of the administrative and operational functions currently burdening Center volunteers to a small number of professional staffers who can specialize in these operations, such as NWTA paperwork and payments processing and collections.
  7. Free Center Directors and their staff to focus more of their time on their communities and their I-Groups rather than organizing trainings.
  8. Cut costs by sharing infrastructure such as a common accounting platform, prospect databases, and collections.
  9. Create a single national presence to attract outside donors.

VIII. The Consolidation Process

The proposed process is as follows:

  1. This document is published by early January for consideration by the Center Council and MKP USA Council at Glen Ivy in February of 2011.
  2. Each Center comes to Glen Ivy ready to vote on whether to continue the consolidation process.  This vote is not a commitment by a Center to consolidate, but a decision to allow MKP USA and those Centers who wish to consolidate to proceed with this initiative.
  3. The MKP USA Council votes on the Consolidation Proposal at Glen Ivy.
  4. At Glen Ivy each Center declares its level of commitment to participating in Consolidation.
  5. Concurrently an effort is made by the Fund the Plan team to create a fund (the Fund the Plan Trust) of a least $400,000.  This is the minimum amount of money required to fund consolidation and the initial reorganization effort.
  6. If the Proposal is adopted AND the $400,000 funding level is reached, then the Consolidation process proceeds for those Centers which choose to participate.
  7. MKP USA establishes a Consolidation Team and several Centers are enrolled as Pilot Centers for the consolidation process.  It is desirable that the Centers that wish to form an Area consolidate during the same or nearly the same time frame.
  8. Each Center is asked to create a “Due Diligence” team to work with the MKP USA Consolidation Team.
  9. Prior to any Center actually consolidating, the Cener and MKP USA work together to confirm in detail that consolidation of that Center is in both parties’ best interests.
  10. If both the Center and MKP USA agree that consolidation will serve both entities, then the Center dissolves its corporation and assigns its assets and liabilities to the MKP USA corporation.  The Center is now an operating unit within MKP USA.
  11. The Center submits a budget for the partial year remaining in the year of consolidation, based on the trainings it wishes to conduct for the rest of that year.
  12. Based on the experience of the “first wave” of Pilot Centers, the consolidation procedures are reviewed and finalized.
  13. MKP USA and the remaining Centers wishing to consolidate then create a schedule for those Centers to join at the rate of one Center every 2-4 weeks if possible.

IX.  What Consolidation Actually Means

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 20-25% in order to also cover the Center’s share of the expenses incurred at the National level.  Note that the percentage of 20-25% is an estimate, only, and replaces the Initiate Fees currently remitted to MKP USA.  The actual percentage needs a lot more analysis.  Note also that where today MKP USA gets paid its Initiate Fees whether the Center has a surplus or not, under this new structure, MKP USA has a direct interest in the financial prosperity of its Centers.  If a Center has no surplus, everyone will feel it.  The Center budget will need to be approved first by the Budget Committee composed of the MKP USA Executive Director (or designee), the CFO (or designee) and three MKP USA Center Council representatives (or designees).  Some negotiation with, and modification by, the Center may ensue before the committee gives 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.

  1. Receipts: All receipts (NWTAs, Leader Trainings, 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.
  2. 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 ultimate aim is to rationalize payments so that they are paid at the most logical level. So, for example, Leader Fee payments for trainings will likely migrate to the MKP USA accounting system.
  3. Fund Raising: Centers may do fund raising in order to supplement their revenues.  This fund raising becomes a part of their budgeted income.  The desired end state is that all fund raising (local and National) will be collaborative and mutually supportive of common goals.
  4. 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 be approved if reasonable and necessary.
  5. 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 begins to operate in the red, the Budget Committee may cut back its allocations.  Balances held by the Center for restricted purposes, including local scholarship funds, will remain locally controlled and not subject to transfer.  Please note that the intent here is not to strip cash from the Centers to benefit the National operation.  Rather it is to make sure that all of our cash is invested efficiently, instead of remaining locked in small amounts scattered across the country earning a fraction of 1% in interest.
  6. Paid Staff: All paid Center staff will become employees of MKP USA and report to the Executive Director or other National staff, in addition to their Center’s Council or Board.  All contractor relationships will be reviewed to insure compliance with Federal and State regulations. To the extent that both the Center and MKP USA agree that it is financially feasible, currently compensated Center personnel will retain their positions and compensation for the remainder of the terms of their election or contract.  Thereafter, compensation rates will still be set by Centers, based on what they can afford, and subject to the review and approval of the MKP USA Budget Committee.
  7. Governance: Other than ceasing to be a corporate board, the Center’s current governing body will continue to run Center operations.

X. The New Structure

As part of the consolidation process, MKP USA will gradually move to a new operating structure.  The purpose of this new structure is to:

  1. Achieve a rational span of control so that no one role or entity has to manage more than 10 roles or entities below it.
  2. Substantially reduce the operational burden on Centers by moving some of that burden to the Area and National levels.

Today our structure consists primarily of Centers underneath the MKP USA operating umbrella, with some Centers recognizing a lower level often termed “Community”.  I-Groups are recognized as being a part of Centers, though often with little formal connection.

Under the proposed new Structure, MKP USA will reorganize to include five distinct layers:

  1. The Man
  2. The I-Group
  3. The Community
  4. The Center
  5. (Optional) The Area

The following describes the intention behind the two new levels proposed, the Community and the Area.

Communities. New roles and programs will be developed at the Community Level to support I-Groups and to take over a portion of the communications role with our membership.  Centers will define their own Communities.

Areas. Areas are optionally created by the voluntary association of 4-8 Centers into a regional training unit.  The purpose of the area is twofold:  1) to offload some of the administrative paperwork of running NWTAs and other trainings from the volunteer CDs and Weekend Coordinators to an Area Administrator and, 2) to provide a mechanism for coordinating the scheduling of trainings across Centers so that we space our trainings out along the calendar as much as possible.

See Appendix A for a detailed graphic of the new Organizational Chart.

XI.  New MKP USA Functions

One of the major aims of the Consolidation Proposal is to be able to afford three new National functions:

  1. Marketing
  2. Development
  3. Payments Processing

Marketing. MKP USA will hire a Marketing Director and empower him with a real budget.  He will have three primary objectives: 

  1. Manage a Member Relations Cycle so that the organization can effectively:
    1. Learn more about what our members want
    2. Communicate with our members about their concerns and wishes
    3. Provide additional services to our members
    4. Enroll our members in supporting our mission
  1. Design and execute a marketing campaign to expand enrollment by:
    1. Taking our brand back from our detractors and defining it positively
    2. Communicating to the public the benefits of our trainings and I-Groups
    3. Working with other non-profits to co-sponsor events
    4. Placing dynamic MKP speakers at conferences and conventions
    5. Seeking out professional advocates such as therapists and social workers
  1. Undertake primary market research to understand:
    1. Why men do or don’t transition from an NWTA to an I-Group — in order to craft a message and a process to maximize this transition
    2. Why men leave I-Groups — in order to maximize retention
    3. How to attract more young men from Generation Y (the current generation of men entering manhood)

Development. MKP will hire a Development Director to assist with all fund raising efforts, including outreach to corporate philanthropy, foundations and government funding sources.  Social entrepreneurship is a hot topic in this sector today.  Our primary pitch will be that MKP, by empowering men to Missions of Services, is an extremely efficient engine for social entrepreneurship.  The Ron Hering awards provide powerful evidence for our results.

Payments Processing. Since MKP USA is now clearing many of our payments, it makes sense to hire a professional Payments Manager to handle payments processing.  This person will also be the primary point of contact for setting up initiate payment plans and for making sure that we collect the funds we are owed.  Many Centers report that payments processing and collections are major head aches, and that they are leaving tens of thousands of dollars on the table because they cannot effectively follow up on collections.   The hope is that  better collections will justify the expense.

XII. New Programs

Another major aim of the Consolidation proposal is to create the additional resources we need to begin to roll out new programs.  Our top priority for new programs is to increase the relevance of MKP in the lives of our Initiates AFTER they graduate from an NWTA.  Today, unless a man staffs, this relevance is very low.  Most men in I-Groups report that MKP could drop dead tomorrow and they would barely notice.  Accordingly, MKP wants to develop two new programs as fast as possible:

New Trainings.  MKP USA will develop or acquire new trainings to cover all of the major crisis/growth points in a man’s life, including, but not limited to:

  1. Living in Partnership
  2. Fatherhood
  3. Divorce
  4. Elderhood
  5. Retirement
  6. Death & Dying

New Leadership Paths. MKP USA will develop new Leadership Paths to meet our members’ desire for mastery in the following areas:

  1. I-Group Facilitation
  2. Missions of Service (Social Entrepreneurship)
  3. Community Leadership

While serving their own desires for growth in these areas, candidate leaders will also serve the organization.  I-Group Facilitators create and lead the support structure for I-Group formation, training, care, and crisis management and help run Open Circles to bring new men into our trainings.  Men in Missions of Service embody to the general public the values of New Warriors in action and raise public awareness of our organization.  Men on the Community Leadership track become our CDs and Center staff.

XIII. Centers Which Choose Not to Participate

Consolidation is voluntary and Centers should only join if they see real net benefits. There is no intention to penalize Centers which do not join.  Such Centers will continue to operate as they do today under similar covenants with MKP USA.  Undoubtedly,  over time, there will be some areas and activities where being an unconsolidated Center will make a difference, but it is not clear what they might be at this time.

Regardless of whether a Center is consolidated or not, all men who complete an NWTA will be eligible to enroll as members of MKP USA.

XIV. Fund the Plan

Consolidation is designed to generate the resources we need to fund new programs and to restore our growth.  However, it will take time to accumulate these resources and time to put them to work.  It is widely agreed that we do not have much time before our shrinking enrollment begins to kill off Centers.  Therefore we need to kick-start our programs at the front end of Consolidation, not at the back end.  This takes money we don’t have.  Therefore, several men have stepped up to lead a Fund the Plan campaign to gather the cash we need for the first year of consolidated operations.  After some analysis, they determined that at least $400,000 was needed to fund the first year of the reorganization.  This money will be used to:

  1. Hire a new Executive Director
  2. Hire a Marketing Director
  3. Hire a Development Director
  4. Fund a marketing budget
  5. Buy an accounting software system which can handle the complexity of our consolidated system
  6. Cover the legal and accounting costs of consolidating the Center corporations

After the first year, the hope is that these new positions will increase our revenues and fundraising sufficiently to more than cover their own costs.  An alternative which is being discussed seriously is to identify 1500 to 2000 men willing to donate $25 per month for 5 years.

XV. The Hard Questions

The Structure Committee has prepared a detailed Reorganization FAQ answering over 100 questions that have actually been asked or that we thought might reasonably be raised.  Please see this separate document for our answers to every hard question posed.

Appendix A

Proposed Organization Chart

(Centers used in the chart are one hypothetical example)
Change History

Version Purpose Date
1.00 Initial Release 17 Jan 2011

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.