October 28, 2014

Nonprofit Boards: It’s All About Impact

Participants at a local conference for board members recently shared what they enjoy most about serving on nonprofit boards:  impact… and serving the mission.

Then they rattled off a longer list of what they didn’t enjoy:   the time commitment, listening to reports, worrying about finances, fundraising, recruiting others, shelving the strategic plan, and so on.

On a hunch, I jotted their complaints to see what they had in common and there it was – it all focused on the tasks of boards and what they do, not why they do it.

Surely, no board members ever aim to surrender precious time away from home or work just to sign letters for an annual appeal.   They gladly give time, however, to ensure their neighbors have heat.  Or food.  Or quality education or healthcare or whatever their missions promise.

July 22, 2014

S3: “Boards and Magical Thinking”

Oh hey there. We hope you've enjoyed our posts about governance so far. In the office, we've been working on a program where we share weekly information about governance that we think is share-worthy. The commentary is provided by one…

July 20, 2014

2014 BE Connected Conference in Washington D.C.

We would love to see you at the 2014 BE Connected, BoardEffect's Annual Conference which is open to all BoardEffect Administrators and users. We've designed the two-day conference with best practices in leveraging the functionality of BoardEffect to make the best use…

July 20, 2014

ICYMI: Changes in Nonprofit Law

In addition to posting about governance commentary, we also want to share information about the nonprofit world and changes that affect our clients. Cue our "ICYMI" or "In Case You Missed It" posts. Our first post is about the changes…

Who Leads The Dance, The Executive Director Or The Board Chair?
May 30, 2014

Who leads the dance, the Executive Director or the board chair?

Who is the boss?  Who is really running the show?  Who makes the last call at work? At home? In social settings? Most of us face these types of questions without even realizing it. Exercising power is a topic that can be fraught because it is not always a straight-forward or static issue.

Life happens. Change happens.

Libraries are filled with books on power sharing, power grabbing, and power struggles. Machiavelli’s The Prince is the quintessential playbook for the dark side of politics, which is a discipline dedicated to the study of power. Most families feel like they could write volumes on the topic!

May 25, 2014

Snapshot 2014: Board roles amid the “Rising Tide of Expectation”

America’s Charities published their yearly Snapshot of over 240 charitable organizations to explore the key trends that are shaping corporate and nonprofit partnerships as well as the challenges and opportunities they face moving forward. The title of this year’s publication is Snapshot 2014: Rising Tide of Expectations—Corporate Giving, Employee Engagement and Impact.

According to the report, the rising tide of expectations on nonprofit organizations is due to the increased accountability, transparency and impact fueled by the proliferation of technology in our increasing digital age. 

About 68 percent of nonprofit organizations stated that they are affected by digital culture and its drive on their demand to demonstrate impact and that digital culture requires them to be more transparent with their stakeholders, including donors. When asked what they believe is important to their supporters, in order, they ranked:

  1. Impacts and outcomes
  2. Transparency
  3. Governance and high standards
May 1, 2014

Springing forward with the new release

We strive to continue to improve BoardEffect to meet the needs and requests of our clients and we are excited to have released the new features this Monday. Based directly on client feedback, we have increased the functionality of the product and hope that you enjoy the improvements as much as we do. We held two webinars to demonstrate the new features. During the webinar, questions were raised that we think were worth sharing. As a result, here are our top four FAQs of the spring release.

How are the changes to the Resource Library going to affect the folders with security settings that I’ve already created?

  • All of the existing security settings will still be applied to the folders. Now, instead of adding individual users to restricted files, you can add entire committees or boards that will be reflect the existing committee or board list you have in your portal. So if a user is on a committee and she moves off the committee, she will no longer have access to that material. If you already have created restricted folders, you can add the committee or board to the restricted folder and then delete the individual users so that, moving forward, this will be an accurate up-to-date list.
  • Board members will no longer see restricted folders that they do not have access to.
  • There is a new Secured Folders area in the Resource Library under the left side bar under “New Folder” that displays all of the files with restricted access types on them so that only Top-Level Admins can see them in one place.
  • You will also be able to delete multiple files by clicking the checkbox next to each file when viewing the folder in the Resource Library and clicking on delete.
April 29, 2014

Becoming a Paperless Board of Directors

Although we’re a little late, we still think it’s important to celebrate Earth Day, not only on April 22, but everyday. With that said, we think it is a great time to bring up one of the conversations we had with our clients about becoming a paperless board of directors at our BE Connected User Conference held in October.

When transitioning from a paper system of document distribution, getting your board of directors to go paperless can be a significant change especially when faced with board members who are accustomed to using paper copies of meeting materials.  It takes some planning and considerations prior to the roll-out but with proper planning, it can be very successful. Read on to learn more about one of those stories from a client who started using BoardEffect’s board meeting software.

Once upon a time…

One of our clients was using a paper system to distribute materials to her board members (sound familiar?). Then one day, she decided to go paperless. She works at a university with board members of varying comfort levels using technology. As she was pondering the implementation of a paperless board book implementation, she had several considerations.