While it’s helpful to review multiple studies about a particular issue, research about nonprofit board governance issues hasn’t been studied very much. That’s what makes the 2015 Survey on Board of Directors of Nonprofit Organizations by the Stanford Graduate School of Business such an excellent tool. The report brings out some important facts about known or suspected matters and highlights a few new ones.
Have you ever looked out of an airplane window and marveled at how differently everything looks from an aerial view? You noticed which highways were jammed with traffic and which roads were barren. Maybe you detected a few important landmarks. As a member of a board of directors for a nonprofit organization, you have a duty and a responsibility to examine your organization’s landscape to ensure that the current (and future) landscape is healthy and productive.
In recent decades, it’s a whole new world regarding the responsibilities and compensation of corporate board members. New trends are developing as to how various size companies are paying their boards and how they are breaking down the compensation.
Corporate boards and nonprofit boards are different in many ways. Knowing how to get an “in” to the board of your choice might be easier than you think. In either case, learn as much as you can about the existing board, including what talent or expertise they are missing.
As new year resolutions go, getting better organized seems an easy goal. Clearing out closets, files, and even email inboxes can be good for the mind — and soul. But what about the organization?
What’s the difference between an unproductive non-profit board meeting and an effective non-profit board meeting? The board meeting agenda and the board chair who uses it.
The agenda is the board chair’s most important tool. When a non-profit board meeting agenda is written well, it helps the board chair to make fast decisions about managing agenda items. An experienced board chair knows that items on the agenda signal some type of action from the board. When an agenda item is not ready for the board to take action, it signals the board chair to remove or table the item from the agenda, or move it to a committee for further discussion and exploration.
A well-planned agenda helps the board chair keep the meeting focused on the strategic planning of the mission and prevents members from derailing the meeting with tangents and disruptions.
Fresh perspective can transform… well, almost anything.
When a new BoardEffect administrator recently took the reins from her predecessor, she knew she could leverage her still outside perspective to benefit the board. In studying the multiple board and committee workrooms in her platform, she recognized an organic “design” of workflow and information management that reflected users’ initial learning process. Each workroom had developed its own system for organizing information. Missing, however, were strategic naming and archiving conventions that would promote efficiency and best practice utilization of the tool. By looking through a new lens, she quickly identified ways to enhance board members’ experience with their platform and, subsequently, on the board.
Longer-Term Steps Nonprofits Can Take in an Era of Political Transition / Uncertainty. The Importance of Advocacy The National Council of Nonprofits recognizes “the work of charitable nonprofits will be affected – positively and negatively – by changes in the…
Immediate-Term Steps Nonprofits Can Take in an Era of Political Transition / Uncertainty.
Every national, state, and local election has the potential to impact communities and the nonprofits that serve them. The difference this year is that impact remains largely unknown. As each segment of the nonprofit sector scrambles to anticipate and interpret the implications of a Trump presidency, nonprofit boards have work to do. But it’s not necessarily the work they think.
Have you ever been to an open meeting where something came out into public view that would have been better if it had been handled privately? Perhaps someone’s reputation or career was damaged before the board had time to discuss the full scope of the facts? Executive sessions are designed to handle such matters. When you know how and when to use it, executive session is a valuable tool that benefits the board and management equally.