Could your board be better? Probably so! The first step in improving your board is raising awareness about how the board is doing now and then compare that to what truly effective boards do. This can be accomplished by doing a good board assessment. But there are 3 mistakes you want to avoid.
We’ve all heard the expression “dog days of summer.” I associate the phrase with slowing down, summer heat, etc. And it’s no wonder! Studies show that work productivity in the summer drops by as much as 20%. That’s a lot.
I’ve been impressed with the creative ways nonprofit executives have made use of advisory groups. The benefits of forming an advisory group for your nonprofit are many. If not done thoughtfully, however, forming an advisory group can be a mistake. Here are 8 steps to effectively form an advisory group for your nonprofit.
In my work as a nonprofit consultant (and a former Executive Director), I’ve seen first-hand how challenging it can be to recruit new board members—especially the right ones you really hope to have engage with your nonprofit. An important first step is to empower board members and executives to overcome the barriers to recruiting that make it so hard.
But, do we know what those barriers are?
The job of orienting board members usually falls to the executive director. But your time as an executive is already stretched to the max! So, while creating an effective board orientation is probably not your biggest priority, dealing with the consequences of not having one will cost you valuable time and resources. Here are five tips to make your board orientation more effective.
Experienced board members and a few new ones attended a workshop on being effective in their roles. After refreshing their knowledge about why governing matters to their nonprofit and how boards have potential for significant positive impact, I asked: “Are your skills, talents, gifts, connections etc. that are relevant to your board service being fully utilized 100%?” Here’s what I learned . . .
“We have a working board,” a board member tells me. This is intended to let me know that, somehow, this board is different from other boards and they are all volunteers doing a lot of work. Let’s revisit that: “This board is different from other boards, we are all volunteers, and we are doing a lot of work.” How is this different from your board? I bet it isn’t. That’s why it is the Working Board Myth.
The report of the first ever national study that gathered the perspectives of nonprofit board chairs has been released. I am privileged to have been part of the research team conducting the study which was done by the Governance Affinity Group of the Alliance for Nonprofit Management. The report, Voices of Nonprofit Board Chairs, reflects the voices of 635 nonprofit board chairs from across the United States. The study is a first step in hearing directly from board chairs about their experiences and perceptions, highlighting the importance of the board chairs and also the significant dearth of research about them.
Today I want to share some insights about a subject that’s been top of mind for me lately…. Capacity.