[News] Board Governance

Do you (really) know the separation of duties between staff and board? Governance is Governance is a resource I’ve been referring people to for years. Thanks to Gail Gifford with Cause and Effect for bringing it to my attention again.

Scroll down and you’ll see a full list of articles and posts to help stay up-to-date on trends and topics facing the nonprofit world.

Thanks for all you do to make the world a better place!


7 Things Every Nonprofit Vision Statement Needs7 Things Every Nonprofit Vision Statement Needs @Pursuant

Most nonprofit leaders would agree that vision statements are vital to healthy organizations. However, very few leaders have a clear understanding of how to harness the power of that vision. They might know how to craft a compelling vision, but they aren’t sure how to communicate it in a way that connects with their board, staff, donors, or volunteers.

What’s lacking is key direction to turn a vision into a compelling force for change.

Governance is Governance - Cause and EffectGovernance is Governance – Cause and Effect @gaylegifford

Here’s Dayton’s Function of the Board of Directors:
“As representatives of the public, be the primary force pressing the institution to the realization of its opportunities for service and the fulfillment of its obligations to all its constituents.”

And his Function of the President and CEO (that is, chief staff officer/executive director)
“1. Serve as the Chief Executive Officer of the institution, reporting to the board of directors, accepting responsibility for the success or failure of the enterprise. (emphasis added)
“2. With the Chair of the Board, enable the Board of Trustees to fulfill its governance function, and facilitate the optimum interaction between management and the Board.
“3. Give direction to the formulation [of] and leadership to the achievement of the institution’s philosophy, mission, and strategy, and to its annual objectives and goals.”

4 Things Successful Change Leaders Do Well4 Things Successful Change Leaders Do Well @HarvardBiz

Leveraging these four activities, while framing the transformation effort as a collective challenge to be embraced together, fuels positive change over the long haul—which is important since the transformation journey is a never-ending one for most companies today. Ultimately, these practices create a culture of agility and resiliency that will pay dividends out into the future. Embrace the complexity.

How to Avoid Hiring a Toxic Employee | Harvard Business ReviewHow to Avoid Hiring a Toxic Employee @HarvardBiz

Nothing is more costly to an organization’s culture than a toxic employee. Research shows that rudeness is like the common cold — it’s contagious, spreads quickly, and anyone can be a carrier.

How does hiring a toxic employee compare to hiring a superstar? Minor and Housman found that one toxic employee wipes out the gains for more than two superstars. In fact, a superstar, defined as the top 1% of workers in terms of productivity, adds about $5,000 per year to the company’s profit, while a toxic worker costs about $12,000 per year. The real difference could even be greater if you factor in other potential costs, such as the spread of the toxicity, litigation fees, lower employee morale, and upset customers.

Fundraising Planning

How to Turn Your Board into a Fundraising Board - Get Fully FundedHow to Turn Your Board into a Fundraising Board – Get Fully Funded @SandyRees

Just imagine – your WHOLE Board out there spreading the good word about your nonprofit in the community, telling their friends about your organization’s mission, and bringing resources back to help you change more lives.

It doesn’t have to be a fantasy. It can become your reality if you’re willing to work at it.

Here are the steps Sandy Rees follows to create a fundraising board: Evaluate, Inspire, Invite and Support…

2015 Charitable Giving Report: Fundraising Continues to Grow | npENGAGE2015 Charitable Giving Report: Fundraising Continues to Grow | npENGAGE @blackbaud

Blackbaud’s 2015 Charitable Giving Report includes more than $18.2 billion in total fundraising and $2.2 billion in online giving data from 2015. It reveals that overall giving in the United States increased 1.6% and online giving grew 9.2% in 2015 compared to 2014.

A few highlights from the report:

International Affairs organizations had the largest year-over-year increase in charitable giving.
Higher Education institutions grew their online giving the most compared to 2014.
Small nonprofits grew the most in 2015 and medium-sized nonprofits had a decline on a year-over-year basis.


What Tracking 13 Billion Email Opens Can Teach Us About the Current State of Email EngagementWhat Tracking 13 Billion Email Opens Can Teach Us About the Current State of Email Engagement @HubSpot

Serving as one of the oldest digital mediums still in use, email is known for delivering the highest ROI among digital marketing channels. However, as the applications and devices people use to view emails continue to evolve, the prospect of optimizing for the inbox has become a bit more complicated.

The 5 Things You Need In Your Nonprofit’s Online Newsroom | Kivi's Nonprofit Communications BlogThe 5 Things You Need In Your Nonprofit’s Online Newsroom | Kivi’s Nonprofit Communications Blog @kivilm

When nonprofit communicators think about media relations, they often focus on proactively pitching stories and reaching out to reporters and editors.

But effective media relations isn’t just about pushing our story ideas on unsuspecting reporters. It’s also about being ready and responsive when a reporter or editor is already pursuing a story.

Being responsive isn’t just about being quick to answer a phone call or an email from a reporter on deadline.

It also means having accessible, accurate, and useful information available on your website. This might sound obvious. But as a former reporter and editor, I can attest that very few organizations actually have an online newsroom that provides journalists the information they need.

Fundraising Tactics

How to Double Online Giving in Six Months | bigduckHow to Double Online Giving in Six Months @bigduck

By making these three simple changes, Mercy House was able to improve online giving by 110% in just six months, and it didn’t stop there. They continued to enjoy the fruits of their labor and saw an additional 73% increase in the six months after that. The point is, if you take the time to build a solid foundation for the house that is your online giving experience, the sky is the limit to what becomes possible.

The Encore Movement | The NonProfit TimesThe Encore Movement | The NonProfit Times @NonProfitTimes

There are two things to keep in mind concerning this generation of volunteers, Emerman said. For one, they want to see the skills they have accumulated in life used to the highest potential. Two, organizations are creating opportunities that aren’t in the traditional direct-service mold to accommodate this desire, a trend Encore is currently compiling a study on. New-wave volunteer opportunities include the launching of programming and cultivation of service partnerships, Emerman said.

Finding opportunities for a particularly highly educated and skilled volunteer force will become increasingly important for organizations as they look to improve services, Emerman predicted. “Really think about how you use talent in your organization,” Emerman advised. “Think about volunteers as an overall strategy of talent, not just an addendum. Look at strategic ways of leveraging volunteers’ skill sets to advance organizations.”

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