Nonprofit Boards and Effective Governance

The nonprofit governing board has been described as an ineffective group of effective people. Trustees are recruited for their stature, skills or connections, and then are not fully engaged. Why do nonprofits so broadly fail to use their boards wisely? And how might they do better? We will look at four interrelated areas: membership (including recruitment, development, self-assessment), process (including structure, meetings), capacity, and fiduciary issues.

Takeaways:

How to assemble an effective board.
How to structure and operate a board effectively.
How to engage trustees and increase mutual satisfaction.
Specific tools and resources that will increase board effectiveness.

Sam Frank founded Synthesis Partnership to assist nonprofits with strategy, planning, and organizational development and change. He advises and has served on the boards of local and national nonprofit organizations addressing arts and culture, education, health care, preservation, homelessness and the environment. Sam frequently offers workshops on planning at national conferences and writes an e-newsletter, Critical Issues in Strategy, Planning and Organizational Development (http://bit.ly/SyParchive) and a blog on nonprofit issues (http://bit.ly/SyPblog). He conceived and directs the Wednesday Webinars atnonprofitwebinars.com. Prior to Synthesis Partnership Sam was Director of Architecture and Design at Corning Incorporated, and Dean of Architecture and Design at Rhode Island School of Design. He was educated in English literature at Princeton University, architecture at Harvard University, and architectural history, theory and criticism at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.
Synthesis Partnership assists nonprofits with strategy, planning, and organizational development and change. The foundation of our approach to any assignment is attentive listening to the situation, needs, culture and aspirations of the client. Our clients have represented a variety of sectors (including education, arts and culture, health care, and social services), sizes (no staff to hundreds of staff; budgets in the low six figures to the high eight figures), maturities (start-ups to well over a century old) and experience (organizations new to planning and organizations with extensive history and experience of planning). Our breadth of understanding of nonprofit sectors and issues helps us to ask the right questions and explore the relevant concerns to assure integrated explorations and solutions. Case studies of some of our projects and articles on strategy, identity, capacity and facilities can be found atwww.synthesispartnership.com

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