Board Development includes building and maintaining an effective board and engaged trustees. Both require sustained time and effort. The key is ensuring that the time and effort are invested where and how they are needed in order to be the most helpful.
The scope of assistance with board development will depend upon the particular combination of topics selected by each client from among the following:
- Knowing and appreciating the differences between nonprofits and for-profits and their governance
- Is the board primarily a working versus a governing board, and does it want to change the balance
- To whom the board is legally accountable and for what
- The other two areas of board responsibilities: functional and ethical
- The expertise the board needs to have access to in order to fulfill its responsibilities
- How prospective trustees are identified, vetted, recruited and on-boarded
- How the board is structured in terms of its standing and ad hoc committees relative to the work of the nonprofit and its strategic aspirations
- The relative effectiveness of the board and its meetings; the relative effectiveness of committee meetings and the relationship of the two.
- The level of understanding and appreciation of the roles of the board and management in decision-making across different functional areas including finances, personnel, facilities, reporting requirements, policies and procedures.
- The presence and effectiveness of periodic self-evaluations of the board and trustees
- The importance of professional development opportunities for trustees
- Trustees’ understanding of their roles and of what is expected of them in terms of time, effort and helping expand and deepen the financial strength of the nonprofit.
- The relative level of engagement of trustees in meetings, discussions, fulfilling assigned tasks and being accessible to management for information and guidance.
- The relative level of satisfaction trustees feel about their association with the nonprofit
There may be other topics, issues, problems or question unique to each nonprofit that should be included in the scope of the assistance.