Nonprofit Board Member Duties And Responsibilities Form The Lay Of The Land
February 15, 2017

Nonprofit Board Member Duties and Responsibilities Form the Lay of the Land

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.

How To Set An Effective Non-Profit Agenda
January 17, 2017

How to Set an Effective Non-Profit Agenda

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.

The Board At Year-End And The Power Of Fresh Perspective
December 21, 2016

The Board at Year-End and the Power of Fresh Perspective

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.

Advocacy And Adjustment In The Post-Election, New Nonprofit World, Part 1
November 29, 2016

Advocacy and Adjustment in the Post-Election, New Nonprofit World, Part 1

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.

Open Meetings, Closed Sessions: Executive Session As A Tool
November 22, 2016

Open Meetings, Closed Sessions: Executive Session as a Tool

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.

Board Development Matrix: The Pros And Cons
November 14, 2016

Board Development Matrix: The Pros and Cons

Among the many lessons in our recent, historic election is the truth about the company we keep. As reflected on social media, like-minded people tend to gravitate to those who think – and sometimes look – as they do. Though easily attributable to human nature, this pattern enables us to overlook blind spots that can prove treacherous, especially for nonprofit boards.