Ten Steps for Building an Effective Nonprofit Board: A Checklist for Action

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

Reflections of a Nonprofit Board Chair

Reflections of a Nonprofit Board Chair

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.

Leading with Strategy – Even in a Crisis

At the heart of the work that I do with nonprofits, philanthropy and government is to help organizations find the connection between facilitation and process.  Most often that connection is at the point of strategy.  Strategy is the critical element for, among other things: a) strengthening the core of social sector agencies, b) thinking creatively […]

Developing a High Performing Nonprofit Board

Developing a High Performing Nonprofit Board

Most nonprofit board members have a passion and mission affiliation of the organization where they serve and skills and motivations that can support the growth the agency. The task of leadership is to recognize the contributions of each board member and to weave the individuals into a board that becomes more than the sum of its parts. Offered in this post are germinal ideas that can be used to help nonprofit boards in that weaving process.

Facilitating a Nonprofit Board Orientation

Facilitating a Nonprofit Board Orientation

the orientation of new board members is not an event but a process. An intentional time set aside for orientation is a way to start embedding concepts into heads (by detailing program data), engaging hearts (connecting board member with passion and mission), and putting tools in hands (reference materials, by-laws, operating procedures).

Advancing Capacity of Organizations: A Strategic Conversation

In one of the early posts to this blog I offered a taxonomy to help nonprofits think about organizational capacity, resource development planning and fundraising.  In that post I described capacity development as the practice of developing and maintaining staff skills, organizational systems and intellectual and physical resources required to meet your organizational mission. In […]

Planning Effective Board Retreats

Planning Effective Board Retreats

A foundational belief of leading edge nonprofit leaders is that an agency that breaks out of the routine and rethinks fundamental group processes will prosper and grow. Investing in an intentional Board retreat process based on the needs that are alive in your organization today will bring life to what, for many, is an annual ritual to be endured.

Four Board Membership Conversations

I have outlined board frameworks elsewhere and this blog is a more practical companion. While there are literally dozens of books, websites and blogs devoted solely to the topic of nonprofit boards it is still a common phenomenon for nonprofits to struggle to identify the strategic composition and functioning of their board of directors. What […]