I don't know if this is the right place but I've been doing some work with a newly formed community NFP organisation and I'm very concerned about the politics behind the "structure" and the leadership.
The organisation formed around giving a dig-out to someone close to me to help them complete a motorcycle. He had left a string of incomplete projects behind and this one was of enormous sentimental value but once again, he'd bitten off too much and frankly, he didn't have the skill or tenacity to finish it in any kind of decent way, or at all. Family and friends rallied to get the bike done, with me leading the project. I easily put in 75% of the overall effort. Soon, nice talk about it being a great idea for a community project started and before too long, a "committee" had been formed by the individual I mentioned above, encouraged by similar projects around the country.
Over the summer, activity increased and from the leader's lock-up, a couple of tired motorcycles were donated; one was flipped for cash and another was quickly restored and put up as a raffle prize. Again, 75% of the research and labour was put in by me. The leader barely looked at that bike at all. The leader, unilaterally decided to take on a commitment of a workshop. The leader unilaterally decided how the workshop would be structured and unilaterally decided how local businesses would be approached to support 'us' for materials. The leader's style has been that of making unilateral decisions and creating confusion and disinformation. The leader has been unilaterally introducing new committee members without consulting the "committee". The leader chose a sidekick to share the limelight early on despite having far fewer credentials than me or many others in the "committee" and he and she have been leading all the social media, newspaper articles and both made speeches at the fundraiser where 'my' motorcycle was unveiled - the launch of the raffle bike was the motivation for the fundraiser and it was unveiled by the leader who spoke about the project having not participated in it at all.
At this point, there is still no registration for the organisation, insurance (for workshop activities) or bank account and the "committee" were not made aware of what happened to the funds or even the result of fundraiser until the matter was raised with the sidekick almost a week after it happened (and the numbers were fuzzy to say the least as there were several streams of income on the night).
Over the summer, I confronted the leader that there were no committee meetings and important information was being drip-fed to individuals or flat out withheld from the "committee" with little titbits being announced by social media about activities that are "going on in the background". The "committee" has met just three times and it has always been unclear who is in and who is not. There was a time when committee members were being randomly added and the numbers were getting out of control... but still we the "committee" had no influence on who these people were, their credentials or their position. The attitude to those who have been making the biggest contribution is to be handed back-handed or evasive answers to reasonable questions. The leader clearly wishes to be above scrutiny and accountability to anyone, even those who are attaching their energy and good name to the project in the name of doing good work in the community.
The question is not whether or not I should continue in the project; I've more or less decided I'm leaving - I didn't join to work so hard for free under a tyrannical and at times, an abusive boss, let alone someone who is meant to be a friend and confidante. I've been instrumental in getting things to where they are today and I'm not allowed to ask about accountability and insurance issues. I understand (through the grapevine) that the formalities are close to being in place finally
The question is that is the leader of this project entitled to behave in this way on any level. Is this normal? Is the organisation and my friends in the group in any danger of scrutiny by the authorities? The other committee members are very enthused by the good that this project can do for the community but there is a huge level of dissent in the group but the group has not had the nerve to cross the leader like I have.