Board Tools

A well-functioning Board of Directors is essential for nonprofit organizations not only to meet legal requirements, but also to successfully achieve their goals. It is the Board’s responsibility to ensure that the organization has the leadership it needs to fulfill its mission and that leadership continuity and effectiveness is secured through a well-planned Board recruitment process that results in attracting highly skilled, committed, and participative board members. A decision to join a board is an important one. You want candidates to be well informed about the organization and to have given their commitment considerable thought before they agree to serve. The existing board needs to be clear about what is expected of new members, including what characteristics are needed on the board and the nature of the commitment.


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Board Recruitment

A well-functioning Board of Directors is essential for nonprofit organizations not only to meet legal requirements, but also to successfully achieve their goals. It is the Board’s responsibility to ensure that the organization has the leadership it needs to fulfill its mission and that leadership continuity and effectiveness is secured through a well-planned Board recruitment process that results in attracting highly skilled, committed and participative board members.

Co-ops Matters

Today’s economic climate is marked by growing insecurity in the face of structural changes to work, benefits, and business ownership. Small business start-ups are at their all-time lows, and entrepreneurship is lower among millennials than previous generations at those same ages

Best Articles, Tips and Tools Compilation

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?

The 6 Most Important Elements for Running Your Board Like A Pro

This in-depth whitepaper details what every board needs to enrich their volunteer experience and improve the operation of their community association.

Building a Productive Board

The steering committee is the first formal group to work toward the formation of a co-op. At the time of incorporation, an interim board of directors is chosen to take over the decision-making that determines the direction of the co-op. At the first general membership meeting, an official board of directors is elected. Tasks for all of these groups unfold at a rapid rate. There is always too much to do, and not enough easy information. Each of these groups builds on the work of the group before it, and benefits from the same group process skills. Some key elements of board process can make the job of an active board easier.

CEO Transition Plan

The final reputation of an organization’s executive director may be his or her effective planning for a smooth transition upon departure. The board of directors should be made aware as to what steps to take if the chief staff officer were to depart suddenly. Services and operations should not be interrupted because of an unexpected or planned succession.

Chasing Squirrels

Without being recognized by the chair, she said, “I just have a question.” She followed her question with what seemed to be a personal opinion. For example, “Have we ever done it this way? I think if we change our approach and use new technology we will get better engagement.”

Cleared for Takeoff!

The planning retreat has ended. Everyone was enthusiastic about the new direction and ideas. But as the planning team returns to their offices --- most forget their commitment to the new strategic plan.

Board Engagement

Bringing on a terrific board member is only the first step. Taking time to ensure that each board member becomes personally invested and engaged in the mission of the organization is time well spent. When truly engaged, board members will become your nonprofit's best ambassadors, advocates, strategists, and all around supporters.

Better Engaged Boards

How do we keep directors engaged? “They lose steam. A few quit coming to meetings. The passion they expressed has waned,” are frequent plaints. The problem may run deeper than engagement. Board satisfaction is often correlated to engagement. A board member who loses interest may be dissatisfied with the organization or their leadership role.

For Every Action There is a Reaction

Welcome to the Board. You'll be attending meetings where nearly every call for action will begin with the phrase, "I make a motion ... " A motion is a way to introduce a topic to the meeting. An individual makes a motion, another seconds it. Now it is properly positioned for the Board's consideration.

How To Build an Effective Nonprofit Board

We’ve created this guide to provide ideas, insight and resources for Board Chairs or the staff coordinating a board at an association, club or nonprofit. We hope this guide helps you invigorate your board, so that board members are engaged, fully participating, and the team operates at optimal capacity to help move your organization forward.

Job Descriptions Officers And Directors

Any member in a position of leadership in the organization, holding a position on the Board of Directors, or serving on the committees, or in chapter leadership, who feels he or she is unable to support the policies of the association, should tender a resignation as a volunteer leader. A member of the Board of Directors who misses more than two consecutive meetings of the board without adequate excuse should have automatically resigned.

Lessons from the Road

I visit hundreds of associations and chambers each year. Many of them have·· inspired me with their ideas and best-practices. Here are a few of the lessons learned on the road.

Being A Top-Notch Community Association Board Member

Serving on the board of your commu­nity association is both a respon­sibility and a commitment, but it can also be a rewarding, enjoyable experience. I know, because I was a board members secretary and President for seven years at an association where i once lived.

Essential Skills Board Members Should Master

If you've chosen to dedicate valuable time to serving as a board member giving the job your best effort may require you to refine certain skills or learn new ones.

Board Scope Chart

Board Scope chart

Values at the Board Table

Contemporary boards are identifying and promoting their steadfast values. Values guide current and future leaders in their deliberation and decision making. A values statement is promoted along with the organization’s mission and vision statements.

Boardroom Technology

Since the early 2000s, the software category known as “board portals” – online tools focused on governance work – has grown dramatically. Board portals allow board directors and key staff members to access digital governance documents through mobile devices and securely communicate with one another.


To be effective, they must change and evolve as their organizations change and grow. Many years ago, Karl Mathiasen III wrote a paper for Board Source in which he identified three different and quite distinct types of nonprofit boards that develop as their organizations grow and change.

Board behaviors in co-operatives

An effective board depends on several key areas: having the right skills and experience in the board’s composition to deliver the strategy and objectives of the co-operative; developing recruitment processes and succession planning to secure those skills; having a clear role and remit; and regularly evaluating the performance of members.

Should I Accept an Invitation to Serve on the Board

In membership organizations, the board of directors is charged with governance. Directors are expected to fulfill their fiduciary duties in representing the profession and advancing the mission.

Do Yourself a Favor Join a Cooperative

This publication was originally produced in 1996 by Donald A. Frederick, then the program leader for the Law, Policy & Governance Division within the Cooperative Programs office of USDA’s Rural Business- Cooperative Service. It was updated in 2018 by Dan Campbell, co-op publications editor, and James Wadsworth, ag economist and program leader of the Co-op Education Division.

Coop Examples

Provide these examples one by one verbally and have people discuss and decide as a group what type of co-op each is, both in ownership structure and economic sphere.

Reasons Co-ops Can Fail

Overall, co-operatives have a proven track record of being more sustainable than other forms of business – with over 90% remaining successful after 3-5 years. But, like other business and organizational models, co-operatives can fail. Often this is the result of common issues faced by businesses, such as market dynamics, access to capital, or mismanagement. Here are five reasons co-operatives fail:

Could You Be Sued as a Co-op Board Member

No one seems to be keeping track of the total number of lawsuits filed against the boards andindividual directors of the roughly 6,000 cooperative apartment buildings in New York City. But lawyers say it is extremely common for angry co-op members to file lawsuits and name individual directors often as a bullying tactic.

Housing Cooperatives

A housing cooperative is a legal corporation. Members of the cooperative live in the cooperative and run the cooperative—from organizing social activities, to maintenance, to handling finances and landscaping. Members set the bylaws and elect, from among themselves, a board of directors. The board ensures that the cooperative runs smoothly, in accordance with the cooperative’s bylaws and operating agreements. The board organizes a membership meeting at least annually, and hires staff to run the day-to-day business of the cooperative.

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.

Tips To Excel In Associations

He started working at a nonprofit organization founded through the White House, called A Presidential Classroom for Young Americans. Like many executives in association, chamber and charitable organizations management, he had neither studied nor planned to work in a nonprofit1 organization.

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