One of the most common refrains I am hearing these days is how nonprofits who have always looked to their Executive Director/CEO and staff to keep the organization financially and operationally sound now need the board to step up and do more than attend meetings and review the financials. You might recall an article we ran in August overviewing research that found three critical success factors in boards that increased their effectiveness:
From: What Really Works in Building a Strong Board (Not-for-Profit News - July 13 Blog Post).
1. Outside governance expertise or training – a “nudge” – from a facilitator or board member attendance at outside training contributed to a new vision of the board.
2. The Board Chair - critical in creating movement and building momentum for change, in partnership with the executive director. The board chair usually engaged a few other board members, building a small group of champions for change.
3. Intention - Study participants described a specific, articulated intention to develop the board: ”We were obsessed with board development.” “Status quo was not OK.”
Here are two great opportunities for board leaders to set aside any excuses for not knowing how to create a strong board for their organization. Please get these dates on the calendars of a couple of your board leaders – or bring a group!
How True Philanthropy Can Transform Your Board: a workshop for nonprofit executive directors and board chairs with Jamie Levy of J.D. Levy Associates, Tuesday, November 9, 2010, 8:00 AM – Noon, Shepherd Community Center – Admission $15. Jamie Levy is president of J.D. Levy and Associates and a faculty member at Indiana University, where he teaches in the graduate and professional programs through the IU Center on Philanthropy, School of Public and Environmental Affairs, and The Fund Raising School. Through his teaching and consulting, he has trained nearly 12,000 professionals from over 30 countries. Join Jamie to explore how an understanding of "true philanthropy" can move your board from a group of individuals to a body of unified leadership, and how seeing your board through the eyes of a culture of philanthropy will empower your board members to be lifelong advocates as opposed to short term duty. See how the board meetings change when we view the board as a social asset and begin moving the board culture away from problem spotting toward value creation and framing.. We invite you to attend as a team, executive director and board chairman. Register at http://transformyourboard.eventbrite.com, or call 812-447-0345.
2nd Annual Central Indiana Board Chair Summit, January 21, 2011, 8:00am-Noon, Madame Walker Theatre – Admission $49. The primary purpose of the Central Indiana Board Chair Summit is to provide an opportunity for Board Chair leaders to learn new strategies and share ideas with one another that will foster healthier and higher performing Boards. The first-ever Central Indiana Board Chair Summit sold out in January 2010 and elicited tremendous feedback from the more than 80 organizations in attendance: 95% of board chairs rated the Summit as “above average” or “excellent”; 94% of board chairs learned new ideas or skills that could be put into practice immediately; 88% believe they will serve more confidently in their role as Board leader. As one of the 2010 Summit attendees stated: “Realizing that our problems were universal and typical with non-profit boards and hearing peers in my position talk about approaches for resolving them were the most useful aspects of the Summit.” Registration will open soon. Watch the NFP News for more information or contact firstname.lastname@example.org to be added to the mailing list.
Let us know what other resources you are finding to encourage and empower your board on our blog.