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Board of Directors

Meetings of the board can be dreaded or difficult to endure. Listening to reports, watching individuals promote personal agendas, a lack of focus on outcomes, and bad behavior leaves some board members wondering if it’s worth their time. (It is no wonder it’s hard to get a quorum.) How do you create a consistent pleasant leadership experience?  A national association described their meetings as “painful.” The chair insisted on monthly conference calls. They decided Sunday evenings would work best. Because of time zones the call started at 9 and discussions rambled past midnight. The staff were told they too had to join the call. Another association met quarterly but felt they had to maximize the board’s time, so they worked eight-to-ten-hour days. The agenda expanded to fill the time. The board did plenty of committee work and talked “shop.” Reading subsequent minutes, one might wonder what was  accomplished.

Resources

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Goals of BoardServeNYC

BoardServeNYC builds the capacity of nonprofits in New York City by connecting them to a pool of prospective board members. This initiative has been undertaken in response to “NYC Service – A Blueprint to Increase Civic Engagement,” Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg’s bold and ambitious plan to maximize service opportunities and increase volunteerism in New York City.

Matters Reserved For The Board

Directors need to remind themselves constantly of the distinction between ‘direction’ and ‘management’. Whilst the distinction is not always clear-cut, it is critical that there should be an all-round awareness of it. Only by working together can directors and staff create the appropriate conditions for a successful co‑operative business.

Alignment in the Association

Sam joined the association board with enthusiasm. At his first meeting he was quiet the first half and then jumped in, "While I'm on the board I hope we can adopt this new idea that my friends told me about." A few of the directors agreed but the more seasoned officers reminded Sam, "We work within a framework and our ideas should align with our strategic plan."

Delegating Tasks and Carrying Out Decisions

An important part of decision-making involves determining how a decision will be carried out. This requires the delegation of responsibilities. A democratically run building will have all tenants involved at one time or another performing some task, no matter how small. It is a way for tenants to show their support and commitment.

Cooperative Housing Development Toolbox

The shortage of affordable housing in the U.S. market has an enormous impact on the quality of life in cities, towns, and rural areas. As community leaders seek solutions to the affordable housing crisis, people continue to make difficult choices about where to live.

Board Engagement Playbook:

Nonprofits are at a crossroads when it comes to board engagement and communication. Over the past few years, corporate businesses have realized that rallying customers behind a value-based mission creates a personal attachment to their brand, which has led them to nonprofits for inspiration. Nonprofits deeply understand their “why” and it drives everything they do.

Free Riders

In economics, the free rider problem is described as a situation where some individuals in a population either consume more than their fair share of a common resource, or pay less than their fair share of the cost of a common resource.

Lining up Leadership

They offer numerous reasons for the shortage: Generations have changed and don’t appreciate the opportunities. The governance image looks bureaucratic or appears to be “good old boys.” Leadership is a trap lasting up to ten years. The mission or strategic plan is weak. The merits of volunteer work are ambiguous.

Before, During and After Board Meetings

Before, During and After Board Meetings

Board Size Matters

When the meeting convened there were 12 empty seats. Nearly half of the directors did not show up. They addressed the problem by reducing the size of a quorum from 50 to 40 percent or only 12 people.

Term Limits Thumbs Up Thumbs Down

Nonprofit boards have been debating the pros and cons of term limits for many years. If your board has not embraced term limits (and we recommend you do), perhaps the time is now for your board to revisit the topic. This infographic is designed to help you tee-up the conversation.

The Role of Today’s Board Member

Your hard work has paid off, and now you’ve earned a seat at the board table. Now it is time to take your experience and perspective and prepare your organization for the future. Here’s a look at your various roles and how to lead both responsibly and productively.

Organizational Charts

With the continual transition of volunteer leaders, an organizational chart is an ideal way to describe the dynamics and elements of an organization.

Course of Professional Development

Course of Professional Development chart

“Welcome to the Board”

“Welcome to the Board” chart

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