Advocacy helps nonprofits advance their mission, increase their funding sources, and solve community and societal problems. Many nonprofit organizations’ missions address the needs, misfortunes, and inadequacies of individuals and communities, and even help individuals and communities aspire and dream for a better quality of life.
While nonprofits are moving in the right direction in many ways, one of the areas that needs to be addressed continually is board diversity. Your board will benefit greatly by including individuals of different backgrounds. Start prioritizing diversity in the boardroom and see the positive results.
The BoardSource “Recommended Governance Practices” reflect BoardSource’s decades of experience working with tens of thousands of nonprofit board leaders and conducting extensive research on board practices. They highlight essential, leading, and compliance practices, including strategic planning, board retreats, executive sessions, and board committees.
Advocacy properly done is clearly a legitimate function of nonprofit organizations. Boards and senior staff must be clear about what is appropriate and allowable as to manner of advocating for the cause; once those guidelines are clear, it is time to move ahead on those issues of greatest import to your mission.
Use this resource to frame your initial conversations about collaborating with other organizations or stakeholders. Answer these key questions first to give your partnership a better chance at success.
One of the most rewarding things about serving as a nonprofit board member is the opportunity it affords to help create positive change. Board members who are hesitant to get involved in their organization’s advocacy or lobbying
efforts, however, may be missing out on a tool that can be very useful in advancing the cause they believe in.
Chief executives and board chairs should serve as each other’s chief champions — and critics. But giving and taking criticism is hard for many of us. Here are some tips to help you build this critical skill into your partnership from day one.
One of the key ingredients is a constructive partnership between the board chair and the chief executive. This resource featuring frequently asked questions about board chair-CEO communications is designed to help.
Visionary leaders entertain the new possibilities of each moment instead of relying only on experience, writes Scott Zimmerman. This increased perception and energy can also be contagious, improving “collective confidence, motivation, and commitment from the people who will enact the choices,” he writes.
In a challenging and rapidly changing environment, effective board meetings take on even more importance. The high performing board takes time during each board meeting to discuss critical issues and concerns, making preparation for meetings essential. Improve your board meetings by learning about the key roles each participant plays both before and during meetings.
Now, COVID-19, as well as the multiple cases of police violence against Black people that we are witnessing, are laying bare the structural racism that undergirds so much of the US social milieu in which our nonprofit clients swim.
Janet Levinger of Leading Well is starting a series about board members advocating for the organizations they govern and the people those organizations serve. She begins the series with an interview of Sonya Campion, President of the Campion Advocacy Fund and Trustee of the Campion Foundation. Sonya is also a founder of the Stand for Your Mission campaign.
It may not be enjoyable to focus on negative things that could happen for your organization, but it is the responsible thing to do. This resource outlines four things your board should keep in mind while making a crisis communications plan.
Awareness campaigns have become one of the fastest-growing nonprofit campaign ideas because of how big of an impact they can provide. This free guide from OneCause covers how to set up and host an awareness campaign, along with creative campaign ideas you can use to get started.
Virtual board meetings can be an asset for nonprofit boards, but only with careful attention to key considerations. From technological to cultural adjustments, this book helps board members and nonprofit staff effectively utilize virtual meetings.
BoardSource is committed to supporting board and staff leaders during this trying time. To do so, we have compiled some of the most common questions we’ve seen in our community with answers and accompanying resources from our Ask-an-Expert team. The Ask-an-Expert service is typically a member benefit, but during this time it is available to all organizations.
Every nonprofit is encouraged to function transparently. The more information you share, the easier it is for the public to get to know you and determine whether you are worthy of support. However, it is important to know where the line lies between the public’s need to know and internal confidential information.
There are thousands of great associations, chambers and other nonprofits working for important causes. Each has a mission and dedicated leadership. I have been introduced to noteworthy practices in governance, communications and membership. First, know precisely why the organization exists. It should be clear by the mission, but that is often stuffed with everything the board can fit into it. Worse, then nobody can remember much about the mission.
There are three main roles that the board plays for a nonprofit organization. But there also three legal duties of board service, and another 10 basic responsibilities. That’s a lot to keep track of. This infographic illustrates how they overlap, so you don’t get confused.
Quorums are a very important part of ensuring your board is making decisions in an appropriate way and should be specified in your bylaws. This resource includes a sample quorum policy, as well as the answers to these questions:
*What is a quorum?
*Why is a quorum necessary?
*How does one set a quorum?
*What if reaching a quorum is a frequent issue?
All board members should serve on a board committee, but determining where to place them is often more art than science. This resource, complete with worksheets for the five most popular committees, is designed to help.
Does your organization have a process for establishing chief executive compensation? If not, this checklist outlines 11 key items to consider when creating a compensation plan, including reviewing the job description, understanding the marketplace, and more.
After unveiling its current strategic framework, BoardSource’s board and senior leadership reflected on what they learned from the planning process. The result was six key insights that may help you with your strategic planning.
Your story is what attracts people to you—and what keeps them coming back. A story that captures the imagination and motivates your audience to take action is the foundation of your success as a nonprofit leader.
Even the most organized, responsible, and amiable board needs to document its activities, internal rules, and processes. In this free, colorful infographic, we present the board’s must-have documents. Are your “papers” in order?
Carefully crafted bylaws and adherence to them can help ensure the fairness of your board decisions and provide protection against legal challenges. Give your bylaws the attention they demand. This free resource is designed to help.
This template, developed by the TAWB Member Services Committee, provides a thorough overview of the workforce system in Texas which can be customized to individual board areas. To receive the PowerPoint version, contact TAWB Executive Director Greg Vaughn.
A strong partnership between the chief executive and board chair is essential to leading an effective organization. When the relationship goes awry, it’s often due to confusion over individual responsibilities. This infographic is designed to help delineate who does what.
Board meeting logistics are important to pay attention to if you want your board meeting to have a maximum impact. In this BoardSource blog post from our archives, learn about the where, when, and how of planning effective and enjoyable meetings, both for nonprofit staff and board members.
Dig into BoardSource’s new report to learn what is happening in today’s nonprofit boardrooms. Gather insights into the sector’s governance trends, strengths, and challenges. Use the data to start a conversation with your board about how its composition, culture, and practices compare with your peers.
Many nonprofits have expanded their impact through strategic alliances and restructuring. They are finding that they can do more in partnership with others than they can do alone. The Power of Possibility campaign is focused on inspiring nonprofit collaboration. Learn more about those strategic moments when your leadership should be considering strategic partnerships.
As the recognized expert on nonprofit boards, BoardSource has formalized a set of recommended governance practices that reflect our decades of experience working with tens of thousands of nonprofit board leaders and conducting extensive research on board practices. They highlight essential, leading, and compliance practices.
Exceptional board members build on their basic responsibilities and pay attention to how they approach board service. Perfect for those new to board service, this resource explains six ways in which board members can go from good to great.
This checklist is a general outline to guide the orientation of new board members. Your organization should modify it as you see fit to ensure that all new board members are provided with the information necessary to fulfill their responsibilities.