For those of you who do not subscribe to the Chronicle of
Philanthropy(www.Philanthropy.com) yet. As an attorney, Mr. Peregrine's
focus is primarily on the internal workings of the organization, which
misses some important externally focused roles of the board, but each is an
important point. Some are more applicable to larger organizations or
organizations doing certain types of work but the list is well worth a run
through at the next Executive Committee or Finance Committee meeting.
-Executive compensation continues to gain attention. When you set your CEO's
compensation, have a clear rationale that you feel comfortable you can
defend when the local press calls.
-Conflicts of Interest - take a look at anyone on your board who is paid or
their business is paid to provide services to the organization. Be able to
substantiate why they were chosen, independent of their board position.
-Risk Management, Defending your Brand and your Intellectual Property,
Protecting your Reputation
-Knowing the Competition - from other nonprofits, business, and government
-Take the Long View - don't get distracted in current issues unless you have
to, that is where the staff is more focused.
-Term Limits - bring fresh perspectives and reduce excess familiarity with
management. Being certain to find ways to maintain institutional memory.
-Board Structure, Size - Every few years take a look at the size of your
board, membership, and committee structure. How do you need to evolve?
-Donor Stewardship - Does the board know how the organization ensures a
donor's restricted gift is used for its intended purpose or how donors are
thanked or recognized?
-Audit Committee - Have you created an audit committee, apart from your
finance committee? Should you? What will they do?
-Qualifying Value -- Given the looming national discussion concerning
deficit reduction, the board should lead internal efforts to quantify the
mission-based contributions of the organization.
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