Board Composition and Engagement
Section 3 (Items 21-30) of the Annual Checkup: A Board Governance Self-Assessment
21. The Independent Sector's Principles for Good Governance and Ethical Practice are well worth a look. #10 addresses board composition. Here's a great How To Recruit Board Members Fast checklist by fellow consultant Joan Garry.
22. The National Council of Nonprofits has a whole page devoted to board diversity, with links to tools and other information. BoardEffects's blog on best practices specifically addresses the role of women. NEW! BoardSource contributes this great article with 5 questions to ask when you are ready to get started with diversity.
23. BoardSource has created a wonderful little two-pager on Finding the Sweet Spot for your board's size.
24. Here's a "charter" for a Governance Committee drafted by the consultants at Board Catalyst. And I love Joan Garry's blogpost on what to ask potential board members during recruitment. NEW! This great document from BoardSource on Recruiting the Right Board Members includes a discussion on the role of the governance committee.
25. Technical Assistance for Community Services put together a great checklist for your board orientation. So did BoardSource. (NEW!)
More articles and blogs related to the Legal Requirements, Bylaws and Board Policies can be found at The Board Doctor's Pinterest Page. Check it out!
26. A small investment of time in the success of newer board members can yield strong results in terms of leadership down the road. This Board Mentoring Handbook from the Maytree Foundation is full of tips and how-to ideas. NEW! The BoardSource version is much shorter, but just as helpful.
27. One of sector's clearest thinkers is Jan Masaoka of Blue Avocado/Board Cafe. Here's an article she wrote about The Board That Builds Its Sense of Self. BoardSource has an article on Building Trust with the Board and another one (NEW!) on Building Teamwork. If you are frustrated and need a laugh, check out Wild Apricot's 8 Types of Annoying Board Members.
28. Excellent blogpost about the importance of continuous education for board members written by the president of the Surdna Foundation. BoardEffect contributes with a list of ten ideas for board training in their blogpost on going from ordinary to extraordinary.
29. Individual board members should be self-evaluating their own performance regularly. BoardSource put together a great tool with indicators for minimal engagement, full participation and exceptional performance. NEW! An Austrailian consulting firm called Conscious Governance contributes this piece on the Skills of High Performing Board Members.
30. If one of the board's officers were to suddenly resign, would others in the group know how to fulfill the tasks of the vacant position? Here's a leadership transition planning worksheet from Julia Classen.
- Most nonprofit leaders will confront the issue of "board engagement" at some time or other, but what does that mean? Here's a blog post from Charles Dahan at BoardEffect about Defining and Measuring Board Engagement.
- The Association of Fundraising Professionals manual on Building an Effective Board is a classic.
- Guidestar gets into the conversation about engagement with this article on Helping Your Board Spring to Life.