101| Community resource. By understanding the power of diversity and by utilizing it appropriately, a nonprofit board possesses the basic tools for creating a responsive and open-minded organization.
101| Community resource. Exceptional nonprofit boards recognize that diversity is essential to an organization’s success. They see the correlation between mission, strategy, and board composition and understand that establishing an inclusive organization starts with establishing a diverse and inclusive board.
101| Community resource. As the highest leadership body of the organization and to satisfy its fiduciary duties, the board is responsible for the following.
201| Members only resource. Should technical specialty be a necessary criterion for board service? In all-volunteer organizations, professional skills are particularly helpful. However, experts and representatives of specific fields can find themselves in a difficult position of trying to define their role as an active and contributing board member while being expected to perform professional services for the organization.
101| Community resource. Having an organized board recruitment process in place not only makes it possible to fill vacancies on a board in an effective and speedy manner, but it creates a foundation for building a skillful and diverse board. It allows the organization to cultivate potential candidates and to prepare them to join the board when the time is right.
201| Members only resource. An organization that is experiencing a shift in its constituent ethnicity or that is expanding its reach past national borders needs a board that understands the strategic implications of this change. One method of addressing these new needs is to bring in board members who contribute to a global perspective. These new board members may reside in another country, but this essential perspective may also be easily found just around the corner.
201| Members only resource. Numerous organizations are interested in having celebrities serve on their boards to raise the organization’s profile and expand its recognition. Many celebrities are active in charitable work and extend their names, money, and time to further the work of these nonprofits. Serving on the board, however, is a different issue.
201| Members only resource. A common complaint of those in nonprofit organizations is the difficulty in finding effective trustees/board members. Once potential candidates are identified, they must be properly vetted and then convinced to serve.
201| Members only resource. It is natural for those receiving services from a nonprofit — or their family members — to want to serve on the board in order to influence how the organization functions. There hardly is a more direct way to shape the focus of the organization. Neither is it rare for a nonprofit to recruit customers, consumers, or their family members as board members to ensure that their perspectives are included in the decision-making process. There are clear benefits but also caveats in this interaction, however.
301| Members only resource. Every nonprofit needs a board, but — as we look at the various boards in various organizations (close to 1.9 million tax-exempt nonprofits) — it is astonishing how different they appear. It is possible to find a board with only one member and the largest ones might have more than 100 members. There are numerous reasons for this variety, so it seems perfectly reasonable to ask, why size remains, if not a controversial, at least a rather complicated issue.
101| Community resource. The first challenge for a founder of a new nonprofit organization is to build a board. This entails recruiting committed and resourceful volunteer board members, organizing the first board meeting, and, most importantly, guiding the new board on its roles and responsibilities, which includes fine-tuning the mission, setting the guidelines for effective governance, and helping develop strategies.
201| Members only resource. Many boards struggle when a valuable board member’s term is up and it seems a waste to let him or her fade into the distance. The board member’s experience and insight could still benefit the organization but the bylaws don’t include a structured way to make this happen. Here are some ideas for showing appreciation for former board members’ service.
101| Community Resource. Are you interested in becoming a board member of a nonprofit organization but don’t know how to go about it? Here are some practical steps to finding and contacting an appropriate nonprofit, and how to prepare yourself for the commitment.
101| Community resource. People have countless reasons for wanting to become nonprofit board members. Most individuals have well-informed, honorable intentions, and with guidance, they have the potential to have fulfilling board experiences. But occasionally, motivations are misinformed, wholly self-serving, or simply not constructive.
201| Members only resource. Numerous nonprofit boards find it highly desirable to recruit lawyers as board members. The expected role of the attorney is to keep the board aware of and in compliance with all the legal requirements that may affect its members as fiduciaries of the organization.
201| Members only resource. Nepotism — the practice of showing favoritism toward relatives — usually falls under the purview of management when hiring practices come under scrutiny and supervisory relationships are challenged. Governance can also become a victim of nepotism when family members or close relatives work or serve together.
201| Members only resource. Most nonprofit boards understand the potential benefits of board diversity and inclusion, yet many struggle to fulfill the promise offered. Why is that? We mean well, after all. Are there hidden barriers to achieving this promise?
101| Community resource. If you are considering board service, do your due diligence. Learn as much as you can about the organization beforehand. Ask questions about the following.
201| Members only resource. Managing difficult board members is one of the board chair’s toughest tasks. Differences of opinion are common but that is not a reason for removing a board member. However, a board member who is not able to fulfill his or her individual responsibilities, who does not abide by the rules set by the board, or who displays illegal and unethical behavior does not belong in the boardroom.
101| Community resource. This sample is intended to provide you with a template for developing your board postings and is designed for use with LinkedIn Board Connect. Please customize it to meet your needs.
201| Members only resource. If an organization grows as hoped and planned for, a “working board” will eventually reach a point when it’s time to transfer the organization’s management, administration, and operations to staff and staff-led volunteers.
101| Community resource. Different nonprofits will have different expectations of board members based on their size, mission, or particular challenges. Understanding what an organization needs will help you match your motives, interests, time commitments, and personal goals to that organization so that you can make a valuable contribution.
201| Members only resource. More and more boards are dedicating time and effort to create youth partnerships. They are finding the youth perspective to be helpful, enlightening, and a functional asset. There are also some challenges for making it work. Study the benefits and challenges of youth board service to decide if this is appropriate for your organization. For the purposes of this paper, youth, young people or minors are defined as age 20 and under.