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.
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.
In response to the uncertain economic climate, the expectations for the culture of boards has changed. Shareholders know that the composition of the board of directors forms the cornerstone for strategic planning and strong performance. Investors have seen their fair share of governance failures in recent decades and they are starting to look at board compositions with a critical eye.
The power in the room was palpable. Not just at the recent BoardEffect Users Conference, where hundreds of BoardEffect administrators congregated to learn with – and from – one another, but every time I’ve witnessed professional peers convene to gain and share knowledge. They consistently generate energy from one another, leveraging their experiences to offer guidance, encouragement, instruction, and validation to colleagues in similar roles. They take pride in knowing their struggles might benefit someone else and comfort in knowing they’re not alone.
The board of directors of a non-profit organization is the ultimate governing body of the group. Individually and collectively, the board is responsible for financial oversight, providing leadership and direction, being transparent and accountable to its stakeholders, and protecting its legal liability.
It’s rare to discover a board member of a non-profit that has strong expertise in all areas of board duties. Nearly every board member will benefit by developing knowledge in each of these areas.
Take a thoughtful approach to board development to make the most of your educational efforts. Here’s a quick look at the do’s and don’ts for the most common areas of training.
If you’ve attended a board meeting for the first time, you may be surprised at just how much happens there in the space of a short time. You might also have come away from it with a new appreciation for the full weight that board members carry as they make decisions.
Are you looking to fill some vacancies on your non-profit board of directors? Are you worried that half of the board seats will be vacant when the terms of current board members end? Guidestar, a non-profit organization reporting service, polled their members in 2006 to find the best ways to find board members for non-profit organizations. The most offered piece of advice was, “look for someone who is passionate about your cause.” That’s a pretty good answer, but let’s break it down into 10 actionable steps.
As the date for the board meeting approaches and the “to do” list grows by the minute, it’s easy to get caught in a panic. Just when you thought you had things under control, you find that one committee has not turned in its report, the location for the meeting needs to be changed, and six board members have still not RSVP’d. How will everything be ready in time for the board meeting?