Board Development

What does the board intend for the organization to achieve?
What is unacceptable in achieving it?
How does the board relate to the executive director or CEO?
What does the board expect of itself and of each director?

Explore ways to enhance how your nonprofit board does its work, doing more that matters in less time.

On the Edge of Exceptional

It’s called a “Goldilocks Zone.” Planets have them. Sand dunes have them. NASCAR drivers, too. That narrow range between too much and not enough. Find it, and great things begin to happen.

What Could Sink Us?

Young Hornblower did everything right — given what he knew. But he failed to get the key piece of data that might have saved his ship.

Enhance Board Productivity and Waste Less Paper

What do board members need to be effective? Here are five ways to enhance board productivity with less paper waste.

What If Agenda Items Were Questions?

To help board members engage in decisions and focus discussions on governance, try framing all agenda items as questions.

For Many Nonprofit Boards, Smaller is Better

Many boards are bucking conventional wisdom that a board should have twelve to sixteen members. They are discovering the benefits that working with a small group brings.

7 Resources New Nonprofit Board Members Need on Day One

Many nonprofit boards find that 6 to 9 directors can be more effective than a board of fifteen or more. As boards become smaller, the impact of each director grows. It’s not always easy to find new directors, and it takes time to onboard new people. All of this makes it crucial to get new nonprofit board members up to speed as quickly as possible. Here are seven resources every new board member should have on Day One.

5 Ways to Focus Every Agenda for Nonprofit Board Meetings

The agenda is a powerful tool for helping the board attend to what matters. The chair uses the agenda to help the board accomplish its work, make the best use of time, and filter out extraneous topics. Having the agenda at least a week in advance allows directors to plan local travel, read relevant documents, and begin thinking about issues to be discussed. The agenda provides staff with direction on what facilties and equipment to provide, what data might be needed, and what questions may be asked. Here are five parts of a meeting agenda for nonprofit boards that help make these things possible:

How to Give a Great Curtain Speech

Directors hate them. Fundraisers swear by them. And board members often get called on to make them. Done badly, they kill the natural excitement that fills a theatre immediately before live performance. Done well, they help the audience connect beyond the immediate performance. The curtain speech is very much like the “elevator speech” exercise in business: you have 90 seconds to engage your listener and entice them to become involved in your project. What will you say?

Fresh Eyes. Fresh Air. Fresh Horses.

New board members bring three gifts that expire by the end of their first year on the board: fresh eyes, fresh air, and fresh horses.

3 Reasons to Extend the Terms of Board Members

Rare as the need may be, here are three reasons to extend the terms of board members.