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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.

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

Preparing for Leadership Transition

More than 3,000 executive directors participated in Daring to Lead 2011, the third Daring to Lead national study with previous studies published in 2001 and 2006. The study indicated, that of those surveyed 67% of nonprofit executives anticipate leaving their positions within five years. The report makes a four step call to action to address this reality.
  • Plan for successful transitions
  • Advance understanding of nonprofit financial sustainability
  • Expand and diversify the professional development options available to executive directors
  • Find new ways to improve the performance and enhance the composition of boards.​
  • ​Download a copy of the Daring to Lead study.
    Posted on: May 1, 2013
    Topics: Board | Executive Transition

    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

    Extreme Makeover: Nonprofit Board Edition

    Source: Bridgestar
    Like the featured stories on the popular TV show, there are nonprofits that need more than just a modest renovation to satisfy the new IRS requirements for increased transparency and accountability. They need a demolition, a rebuild, and a new foundation so that they can weather any storm. Often that foundation building needs to start with the board. Is your organization a makeover candidate? This article proposes a list of questions to ask yourself, then suggests some tips for each stage of the makeover. Read the article from Bridgestar.
    Posted on: May 1, 2013
    Topics: Board | Accountability (Ethics)

    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

    More on Evaluations

    Source: Blue Avocado
    In a follow up to an article, Blue Avocado reviewed feedback from readers and adapted a survey format of an evaluation for the Executive Director. Learn more about their process and download an easy to modify version of the tool. Read the article from Blue Avocado.
    Posted on: May 1, 2013
    Topics: Board | Executive | Evaluation

    Evaluating the Executive Director

    Source: Blue Avocado
    Are you sighing just from having read the title of this article? Virtually everyone agrees that boards should conduct performance reviews of the executive director. Even so, the predominant practice is neglect and the predominant feeling is resentment. This article from Blue Avocado reflects not on whether they should be done, but on why they should be done and how they are different from other types of performance appraisals. Read the article from Blue Avocado.
    Posted on: May 1, 2013
    Topics: Board | Executive

    The Inclusive Nonprofit Boardroom: Leveraging the Transformative Potential of Diversity

    Source: Nonprofit Quarterly
    This article on increasing board diversity from the Nonprofit Quarterly identifies two different tpes of inclusion: functional inclusion and social inclusion. These two strategies can work together to create something transformational. Read the article from Nonprofit Quarterly.
    Posted on: May 1, 2013
    Topics: Board | Board Recruitment

    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

    What's the Right Size for the Board?

    Source: Blue Avocado
    What's the right number of people to have on the board? The avearge board in the United State has 17 members so that must be the magic number, right? Unsurprisingly, the real answer is "it depends." Read the article on Blue Avocado.
    Posted on: May 1, 2013
    Topics: Board

    Myth: Good Board Members "Give, Get, or Get Off"

    Source: Nonprofit Quarterly
    There is certainly a germ of truth in the give, get, or get off dictum that so many boards live by. But, all too often this germ of truth mutates into a giant, fast-growing myth that ends up choking good governance to death. Read the article from Nonprofit Quarterly.
    Posted on: May 1, 2013
    Topics: Board | Fundraising

    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

    Taking a Risk Is Not Immoral

    Source: Harvard Business Review
    In this blog post from Dan Pallotta, he challenges the nonprofit sector's aversion to risk. Pallotta says: "The world is only moved forward and has only ever been moved forward by those people who are willing to take large risks in return for large rewards, and by the people who support them. Now more than ever this world of ours needs some large rewards."
    Read More
    Posted on: February 28, 2013
    Topics: Board

    Our Executive Director is Embezzling

    Source: Blue Avocado
    From Blue Avocado- A first-hand look at one organization's executive crisis and what you can learn from it.
    Posted on: February 28, 2013
    Topics: Finance | Board

    Assessing and Managing Mergers, Reorganizations and Dissolutions

    Source: Orr & Reno
    September 2009 - Todd Fahey of Orr & Reno has given his permission for us to provide you with a copy of his recent article that appeared in the NH Bar Journal. This article is "a practical guide for counsel called upon to assist a faltering New Hampshire nonprofit organization that is considering some type of restructuring, including a reorganization, merger or dissolution," and should be helpful for nonprofit board members and executives to answer questions they may have as they consider these options.
    Posted on: February 28, 2013
    Topics: Board | Collaboration | Mission


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    Resources and Education for Your Board!

    In the Boardroom is a 2-hour consultation designed to provide nonprofit boards with the training and resources they need to effectively govern a nonprofit in today’s complex environment. This service is provided at a regularly scheduled board meeting or retreat and can cover topics such as:

    • The board’s roles and responsibilities
    • Board recruitment
    • The board’s role in fundraising
    • Running effective board meetings
    • Evaluating the executive director
    • Preparing for strategic planning
    • Current issues facing today’s nonprofit organizations
    • And more...

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