Do Board Member Term Limits really help achieve long-term effectiveness for nonprofits?
By Danielle Clore, Executive Director, Kentucky Nonprofit Network
In over ten years of consulting, I can't think of a single issue as controversial as term limits for governing board members. I get it - I really do see all sides of this issue. I understand the organization's hesitance to "lose" great board members (or less than great board members, but generous donors) through term limits and rotation. I also understand the feelings board members have, especially founding or very long-term board members. There are several reasonable arguments that can be made to ignore the best practice of term limits for board members and trust me, I'm fairly sure I've heard them all. But only twice in ten years of consulting have I been persuaded that this is in the best interest of the organization - and in those two instances, this was only a short-term fix. I counseled the organizations to keep their eye on the prize - an effective board.