As we move forward as a sector, nonprofit organizations need to embrace honesty, leadership, and relationships more deeply than ever. The community is counting on us.
Clearly it is not a lack of knowledge that leads to underperforming boards but it a lack of intentionality and investment in cultivating a high preforming board. To break the cycle, nonprofits need to make investments in developing the strength, performance, and contribution of their boards of directors.
These four characteristics of a vanity nonprofit conspire to create a nonprofit that, at its best, produces a mediocre social return related to the time, money and human capital investments in the agency….
Organizational success matters most and the board should do everything in its power to support growth rather than becoming a speed bump to organizational success. To be a support, expectations matter, relationships matter, and structure matter. In short, the speed at which a nonprofit organization adapts and grows must be paralleled by a board willing to match the organization’s speed, adaptation and growth. In my experience, the highest performing boards embrace, plan for, and capitalize on such change.
A nonprofit organization that places little strategic priority on individual gifts and/or has no clear expectations of board is not equivalent to a nonprofit organization that raises the majority of its revenues from board engaged small events. I believe thoughtful and sometimes-hard conversations are a place of discovering your organizations unique voice on fundraising.
To be successful, nonprofit organizations need to think carefully about their board design, membership expectations, meeting process, and board accountability. These four ideas create the large framework for developing and maintaining a strong Board of Directors.
I mentioned in my last article that the increasingly performance driven nonprofit environment demands leaders capable of thinking and acting courageously. In this article, I extend the argument that such leadership also a core function of a nonprofit board. Passion/dispassion, risk-taking, support, self-reflection, and leadership are core traits needed now. Developing each will increase the potential that your organization will move forward with confidence towards success.
Thinking clearly and intentionally about recruiting nonprofit board members has to be deliberate, focused, and carefully orchestrated. Recruitment based on clear guiding principles will help position your nonprofit to recruit a high performing board.
This blog is in response to a couple of emails I received in response to my last post about how useful the information was. One question I received was “Do you have a checklist that we could use to help us in our next board meeting?” You asked. I deliver. In this post I present “Ten Steps for Building an Effective Nonprofit Board: A Checklist for Action” This free 12-page PDF document is not designed to be an exhaustive guide to developing and staffing a board. Rather is a practice-based assessment tool
Only an effective board is capable of designing and delivering strategic guidance that will be required to navigate the uncharted waters ahead. For any nonprofit agency thinking about the future, these principles of effectiveness give a point of reference by which an agency can judge the strength and direction of its board.