Flo Green Dead At 71

May 15, 2012       Patrick Sullivan      

“Flo” Green, the long-time leader of the California Association of Nonprofits (CAN) has died. She was 71.

According to a memorial website set up in her honor, she suffered a stroke on May 8 and died the following day. She had been recovering from a stroke suffered in March.Green became executive director of CAN in 1995. Under her leadership, CAN tripled its budget and staff size, established a highly successful public policy office in Sacramento, and launched the Nonprofit Quality Reporting Initiative.

She was a founder of the National Association of Nonprofit Organizations and the Nonprofit Management Association, now known as the Alliance for Nonprofit Management. When she retired from CAN in 2008, she continued her service to the nonprofit sector as a consultant, trainer, speaker, and writer.Her most recent endeavor was to co-founder an online resource center for nonprofits, The IdeaEncore Network, providing the nonprofit community a forum for the exchange of tools, training content, and program materials.

The NonProfit Times selected her as one of the Power & Influence Top 50 sector leaders three times, most recently in 2008.

“Above all, Flo was a dedicated teacher, always learning and always trying to find the best way to transmit knowledge and understanding to others of complex social issues and of how individuals and organizations can best contribute to a civil society,” said Hugh (Gary) Massey, her husband.

Green was committed to the nonprofit sector, believing that it offered an avenue for people of all means and perspectives to engage in activities that make their communities better places in which to live, said Massey. “Her voice as an advocate for nonprofit sector leadership, accountability, transparency, and effective board governance will be missed by her colleagues in California and across the nation,” he said.

Jan Masaoka, current executive director of CAN and former executive director of Compass Point Nonprofit Services in San Francisco, remembers Green as a fierce defender or champion of community-based nonprofits. “We are all still in shock. We were planning an event with her, our upcoming conference in Los Angeles. She was looking forward to it. We are all very sad. When somebody dies suddenly, it’s a shock,” said Masaoka. “Flo was a person whose presence you notice is missing when she’s not in a room.”Masaoka and Green were somewhat rivals on the California nonprofit leadership stage. “Flo and I were close friends, the kind of friends who respected each other and fought constantly, so I have a great sense of personal loss. I still feel as if I am in her legacy.”

“She touched so many lives in so many profound ways that her legacy will be felt for many years. She had a generosity of spirit and warmth that was just unparalleled. She never failed to talk about her grandchildren and their impact on her life, which was a good reminder to all of us of what’s important,” said Scott Bechtler-Levin, president IdeaEncore Network.

Green is survived by her husband, four children and 10 grandchildren.

Green will be laid to rest in a private, family service at Woodlawn Cemetery and Mausoleum in Santa Monica, Calif., on May 19. A memorial service is planned for late June. Information about the public memorial service will be posted at http://www.forevermissed.com/flo-green/#about In lieu of flowers, the family requests contributions are made in memory of Florence Green to any of the charitable organizations listed on the memorial website.