Posts Tagged by boards
|February 14, 2015||Posted by M. P. under Management, Research|
Would you give your board an A plus in performance? If yes, then you are in the minority according to Leading with Intent: A National Index of Nonprofit Board Practices, a report that indicates both nonprofit executives and board chairs consider their board performance only slightly above average, with an overall grade of B minus. Survey respondents from across the country rated their boards in various areas of responsibilities with average grades ranging from an A minus in mission to a C in fundraising.
The study, conducted by BoardSource, found that boards excel at tasks of a technical nature, such as compliance and fiscal oversight, while lagging in community outreach and acting as an “ambassador” for the organization. Other areas of improvement noted:
- Diversity. Inclusiveness in board composition – not as a numbers issue but as a valid representation of people involved in the organization – is an area in need of attention with 35 percent of the CEOs surveyed giving their board a B or above in this area.
- Showing up. Board attendance is declining, with less than half (37 percent) of boards surveyed reporting 90 percent or better attendance in 2014.
- Raising money. While board giving is up, fundraising is a sensitive issue. Less than ¼ of boards reported even being comfortable with providing donor contact information, and just 12 percent were comfortable meeting donors face to face.
- Information and strategy. 35% of the boards received a C or below in the area of strategic planning.
This was a national study, but board report cards are also a great tool at the organizational level. These kind of self-evaluations help gauge board members’ perceptions of their own levels of knowledge and confidence, as well as measure overall board performance. This information assists the board in identifying and discussing areas of strengths and limitations and prioritizing governance actions for the upcoming year.
Report Citation: BoardSource, Leading with Intent: A National Index of Nonprofit Board Practices (Washington, D.C.: BoardSource, 2015)
|February 6, 2012||Posted by M. P. under Management, News||
Is your nonprofit ready if your Executive Director gave their notice tomorrow? Has the executive team and board engaged in serious conversations about succession planning and the long and shorter term issues related to a change of leadership? How would your nonprofit manage an unplanned, unforseen change at the highest level?
Nonprofit boards and executives should not shy away from creating a succession strategy for fear of personal affronts or hurt feelings – the importance of this kind of planning to the organization’s strategic plan cannot be understated. In turn, succession planning should never be used as a veiled threat or first mentioned during a power struggle between the board and director. It is not personal or petty; rather it is simply part of good system maintenance to insure the uninterrupted performance of your service or advocacy organization.
A recent study out of Wichita State University Center for Community Support and Research indicates that the majority of nonprofits (72 percent) in that region had executive leadership at or close to retirement age. Many also required assistance in the areas of emergency back-up planning, succession policy and planned departures, as well as general leadership development and talent management. Approximately 33 percent had used an interim director at some point, with half of those agencies reporting said director was selected from within the organization.
A note to consultants – the Wichita study found that just under half (46 percent) of the responding agencies would be likely to pay for outside help in the areas of succession planning and transition assistance. Are you offering these services to your clients?
|March 8, 2011||Posted by M. P. under Management||
Effective board members lead to better governance, which in turn leads to improved organizational performance and the sustainability of the nonprofit. Unfortunately, in reality board performance may be hampered by role confusion, vacancies and communication difficulties. The white paper, Governance: Bench Strength, Capacity, Renewal from The Philadelphia Foundation examines the methods of governance by nonprofit boards in southeastern Pennsylvania, utilizing data from a recent study of area nonprofits conducted by the Foundation.
Highlights of the paper include:
- The need to rethink traditional board recruitment strategies in light of the number of board positions and questions of under-representation;
- revising the amount (and content) of the training board members receive; and
- promoting the importance of a commitment to community service to current and potential board members.
The full paper is available at The Philadelphia Foundation’s website.
Here in Pittsburgh, The Nonprofit Leadership Institute (NLI) at Duquesne University helps nonprofit organizations face the challenges of board recruitment and training with their unique services. The NLI program Boards by Design brings together nonprofits and potential board members at several “speed dating” style events each year to begin the placement process. The Institute also offers a series of trainings in areas such as fundraising, succession planning and communication for new and current board members.