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Board Governance

If you're on the board of a nonprofit or thinking about becoming a member of a nonprofit board, this is your resource page. From what you should know before you join, to how to help build the most effective board, this page links you to resources from all over the web. From board roles and responsibilities to fiduciary accountability, you will find it all here.

Idealware's Review of Board Portal Solutions

Source: Idealware
Nonprofit technology research group Idealware published an exhaustive review of board portal solutions.
Posted on: June 29, 2015
Topics: Board | Online Tools | Technology

Nonprofit Quarterly’s Executive Transition Webinar Series

Source: Nonprofit Quarterly
Nonprofit Quarterly's 4-part webinar series on executive transitions is a great resource for all nonprofits that want to ensure they remain stable and sustainable during a leadership transition.
Posted on: June 29, 2015
Topics: Board | Board Roles & Responsibilities | Executive | Executive Transition | Human Resources | Leadership | Planning | Sustainability

Protect Directors and Officers from Legal Liability

Source: Nathan Wechsler & Company
Directors and officers of nonprofits can be held personally responsible for the actions of their organizations, including claims of wrongful termination, volunteer injury, and more. Nathan Wechsler & Company's recent newsletter explains the importance of directors and officers insurance, how it can protect you from crippling legal and settlement fees, and explains the often misunderstood concept of insurance "allocation".
Posted on: June 9, 2015
Topics: Board | Human Resources | Legal | Risk Management

A 2-Step Exercise for Designing Your Best Board

Source: PhilanTopic
Andy Robinson, a Vermont-based nonprofit consultant and author, shares a simple board self-evaluation exercise to help you clarify your boards strengths and weaknesses.
Posted on: March 12, 2015
Topics: Board | Board Development | Evaluation

Leading with Intent: A National Index of Nonprofit Board Practices

Source: BoardSource
BoardSource's Leading with Intent: A National Index of Nonprofit Board Practices report uses data from their one-of-a-kind, national survey of both CEO's and board chairs that can help you compare your organization against the national average and identify trends in the sector.
Posted on: January 27, 2015
Topics: Best Practice | Board | Data & Research | Leadership

2014 Leading with Intent Survey

Source: BoardSource
BoardSource recently released the key findings of their 2014 Leading with Intent survey, a national survey of nonprofit chief executives and board chairs that was previously known as the Nonprofit Governance Index.
Posted on: November 3, 2014
Topics: Best Practice | Board | Data & Research | Executive

When in Crisis, What Should Boards Do?

Source: Nonprofit Quarterly
In recent weeks and months, there have been a series of crises in organizations ranging from data breaches at Target, Michaels, and Chase to the sexual abuse scandals at Penn State and domestic violence in the NFL. In many of these cases, although the boards of directors were not blamed directly, they often came under fire for not having paid close enough attention to see the crises coming or for reacting too slowly. It is no surprise, then, articles have begun to appear addressing how a board should act before, during and after a crisis.
Posted on: October 9, 2014
Topics: Board | Board Roles & Responsibilities | Leadership

A Board Member's Guide to Nonprofit Overhead

Source: Blue Avocado
Calculating overhead rates and managing overhead expense are important staff roles. Board members are not required to know how do staff accounting work, but we do need to bring an informed perspective to our oversight.
Posted on: October 1, 2014
Topics: Board | Operations

Urban Institute's "The State of Nonprofit Governance"

Source: Urban Institute
The Urban Institute recently released "The State of Nonprofit Governance", a report on nonprofit governance systems. The report includes data on board characteristics and governance best practices, broken down by both the size and mission of the organization.
Posted on: September 24, 2014
Topics: Best Practice | Board | Data & Research

Preventing Fraud: From Fiduciary Duty to Practical Strategies

This article, which appeared in the New Hampshire Bar Journal, will help both nonprofit and for-profit organizations identify the possibilities for fraud and embezzlement in their organizations and understand the steps they need to take to prevent these behaviors. The article emphasizes the need for boards of directors to take the lead in engaging their officers and employees in crafting policies and procedures to minimize the possibility for fraud and embezzlement. Read the article
Posted on: April 10, 2014
Topics: Board | Finance

Board Chairs – Good, Bad and Mediocre

Source: Nonprofit Quarterly
Simone Joyaux looks at how to elevate your mediocre board chair to a great one in an article for the Nonprofit Quarterly.
Posted on: February 3, 2014
Topics: Board | Board Development

Here We Go Again: The Cyclical Nature of Board Behavior

Source: Nonprofit Quarterly
An examination of the cyclical nature of board behavior, it's various stages, and what they mean for the organization.
Posted on: October 7, 2013
Topics: Board | Leadership

Planned Giving Committees That Work

Source: The Nonprofit Times
John Elbare, MBA, CFP, a Florida-based philanthropic consultant to both donors and nonprofits, details the first steps for creating a planned giving committee, as well as common mistakes to avoid and best practices.
Posted on: September 30, 2013
Topics: Best Practice | Board | Fundraising | Philanthropy

A Board-Staff Agreement for Financial Accountability

Source: Blue Avocado
Not all board members need to be familiar with financial terms and concepts, but each organization needs to develop a clear and explicit agreement for how financial accountability will be ensured. This article offes a starting point for an agreement that the board and staff can make to ensure a partnership for accountability. Read the article from Blue Avocado.
Posted on: May 2, 2013
Topics: Finance | Board | Accountability (Ethics)

Board Member Contract Template

Source: CompassPoint
A Sample Board Member Contract that can be a starting point for developing your own contract so that all board members clearly understand and agree to uphold their responsibilities. Get your copy from CompassPoint.
Posted on: May 2, 2013
Topics: Board | Board Roles & Responsibilities

Meaningful Acts of Appreciation for Boards & Staff: 7 Do's and 2 Don'ts

Source: Blue Avocado
Despite admonishments to "give positive feedback," it often seems that efforts between board and staff of appreciation feel trivial at best, and even hypocritical or enraging at worst. What are some ways to express authentic appreciation that are meaningful to the recipient, and send the right message about values? Blue Avocado has some tips. Read the article from Blue Avocado.
Posted on: May 2, 2013
Topics: Board

Boards of Midsize Nonprofits: Their Needs and Challenges

Source: Urban Institute
Nonprofit boards are increasingly a focus of those interested in nonprofit accountability and transparency, including policymakers, the media, researchers, and the public. Yet most of the research has focused on boards of large nonprofits. The Urban Institue has published a brief entitled Boards of Midsize Nonprofits: Their Needs and Challenges that focuses on governance among midsize nonprofits, identifying certain problem areas and suggesting strategies that trustees, managers, and others engaged with midsize nonprofits may find helpful in strengthening their boards. Download a copy of the brief from the Urban Institute.
 
Posted on: May 2, 2013
Topics: Board | Accountability (Ethics)

Role of Boards Critical During Crisis

Source: Philanthropy Journal
While the responsibilities of nonprofit board members do not change when the economy tanks, trying times do bring those duties into sharper focus. This article reviews some of the responsibilities that may get more scrutiny at times like these. Read the article from Philanthropy Journal.
Posted on: May 2, 2013
Topics: Board | Board Roles & Responsibilities

Sarbanes-Oxley and Nonprofits: Bogeyman in the Boardroom?

Source: Blue Avocado
This article from Blue Avocado outlines the limited ways that Sarbanes-Oxley is applicable to nonprofits. Read the article from Blue Avocado.  
Posted on: May 2, 2013
Topics: Board

Heading to a Nonprofit Board Meeting? Here's What You Need to Know

Source: Fast Company
What exactly are you supposed to do at a board meeting? This article offers up 9 recommendations given to a new board member for his first meeting, many of which are sound advice whether it is your first meeting or your 50th. Read the article from Fast Company.
Posted on: May 1, 2013
Topics: Board

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