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.

Best Practices For Board Evaluations
November 1, 2016

Best Practices for Board Evaluations

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.

New Models For Board Education: Board Members As Pros In Peer Learning
October 27, 2016

New Models for Board Education: Board Members as Pros in Peer Learning

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.

Do’s And Don’ts Of Non-Profit Board Development
October 26, 2016

Do’s and Don’ts of Non-Profit Board Development

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.

The Easy Guide To Understanding Board Procedure
October 24, 2016

The Easy Guide to Understanding Board Procedure

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.