Most issues within churches and other religious institutions typically stay within such organizations as their own business. But what happens when a pastor or other spiritual leader engages in misconduct or otherwise demonstrates unfitness for such religious leadership? May the religious organization’s governing leaders share these shortcomings with others?
It is not uncommon for a nonprofit’s leaders to consider at some point whether to combine operations with another organization. Perhaps the nonprofit is experiencing financial troubles or a serious leadership vacuum. A vibrant nonprofit may become interested in absorbing a smaller organization. Or maybe two organizations realize that they can be more effective through joining forces, such as to better position themselves for grant opportunities and to more productively leverage their workers and charitable assets.
Can nonprofit volunteer leaders ever be held personally liable in relation to their work for an organization? Unfortunately, the answer is emphatically yes. Most state nonprofit laws protect directors and officers from personal liability for acts performed in such volunteer capacities, but significant limitations exist. Leaders need to be attentive to applicable legal requirements, to govern their organizations well, and to pursue available protections such as directors’ and officers’ insurance and other risk management measures.