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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.

The Evolution of Your Board and Your Nonprofit

Source: Lexian Management Associates
Rick Szilagyi of Lexian Management Associates describes how a nonprofit board evolves alongside the organization using the nonprofit lifecycle model.
Posted on: July 11, 2019
Topics: Board | Board Development | Board Roles & Responsibilities

How Committees Can Help Prevent Volunteer Burnout

Source: Lexian Management Associates
Rick Szilagyi and Lauriane Lebrun of Lexian Management Associates share their framework for volunteer committees that work well without burning out.
Posted on: July 10, 2019
Topics: Board | Leadership | Sustainability | Volunteer Management

BoardSource

Discounts on membership and board self-assessments Center members can save 15% on organizational membership or $200 on BoardSource's board self-assessment service. BoardSource members get complimentary access to BoardSource's collection of white papers, webinars, and more. They also get member discounts on their print or digital copies of their books, such as Board Fundamentals: Understanding Roles in Nonprofit Governance and The Source: Twelve Principles of Governance That Power Exceptional Boards. Learn more
Posted on: January 29, 2018
Topics: Featured

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

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
Who serves on today’s nonprofit boards? What matters most when it comes to the board’s roles and responsibilities? What impact are they having on organizational performance? How do boards conduct their work? How well are they fulfilling their many important roles and responsibilities? How are boards composed and organized? Leading with Intent: BoardSource Index of Nonprofit Board Practices answers these questions as the latest in BoardSource’s series of studies tracking and analyzing trends in nonprofit board leadership since 1994.
Posted on: January 27, 2015
Topics: Best Practice | Board | Data & Research | Leadership

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

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

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

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

Want Your New Executive Director to Succeed?

Source: Blue Avocado
We've all heard about the coming leadership deficit. It is time to stop focusing on the departures and start focusing on ensuring the success of new executive directors. This article from Blue Avocado shares 12 easy and important ways for board members to help a new executive get started fast and on the right foot. Read the article from Blue Avocado.
Posted on: May 1, 2013
Topics: Board | Executive | Executive Transition

Daring to Lead: The Board Paradox

This third Daring to Lead brief examines the paradoxical nature of board and executive director relationships. Key findings include:
  • While executive directors tended to give boards relatively high marks when asked about overall performance, their responses to specific questions often contradicted that assessment and suggest that boards are neglecting critical governance responsibilities.
  • Despite these board performance challenges, most executive directors are not spending a significant percentage of their time working with and supporting their boards.
  • Executive directors who spend more time working with their boards demonstrate higher satisfcation with board performance.
Download a copy of the Daring to Lead brief.
Posted on: May 1, 2013
Topics: Board | Leadership

The Governance / Support Model for Nonprofit Boards

Source: Blue Avocado
Much of the confusion about board responsibilities is confusion between what the board does as a body and what individual board members should do. This article looks at the two fundamentally different types of nonprofit board responsibility: governance and support. Read the article from Blue Avocado.
Posted on: May 1, 2013
Topics: Board | Board Roles & Responsibilities

The Inclusive Nonprofit Boardroom

Source: Nonprofit Quarterly
A look at how the reasoning behind board diversity can impact an organization, and a model for inclusiveness that nonprofits should strive for. Read the full article from Nonprofit Quarterly.
Posted on: May 1, 2013
Topics: Board Recruitment | Board | Best Practice

Organizing the Board to Support the Revenue Strategy

Source: Blue Avocado
Instead of focusing only on how board members can raise individual donations (or not!), think more broadly (and effectively) about how board members can support the key aspects of your organization's business / revenue strategy. Read the article from Blue Avocado.
Posted on: May 1, 2013
Topics: Board | Finance | Fundraising

Help Desk

The Help Desk is designed to help provide the resources and direction you need to answer nonprofit management or governance questions. We will do our best to provide helpful resources and referrals within 2 or 3 business days, but please note that the Help Desk is not staffed full time. Members of NH Center for Nonprofits have unlimited access to Help Desk services. Organizations that are not members of the Center are limited to one question per year.
Learn more
Posted on: March 1, 2013
Topics: Featured | Services

Board Self-Assessment Tool

The Board Self-Assessment Questionnaire helps New Hampshire nonprofit boards identify how the board might be strengthened and assists boards in identifying priorities for board development activities. The tool now includes the option of online administration and tabulation of the results.
Read More
Posted on: February 28, 2013
Topics: Board | Board Development | Evaluation

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