Leading with Intent: a Call to Action for Nonprofits

Jeffrey Shields, National Business Officers Association (Dec. 2, 2015)
A dynamic group of volunteers, a hard-working staff and a well-defined mission to which both groups are committed: This is the unique ideal of nonprofit governance, but it is not easily achieved. In fact, nonprofit leaders themselves give nonprofit boards a B-minus in overall performance, according to Leading with Intent: a National Index of Nonprofit Board Practices (free to download), which synthesizes years of data involving nonprofit board practices, policies and performance.

I learned about this report last month, when I attended the 2015 BoardSource Leadership Forum along with 900 other nonprofit board chairs, CEOs, volunteers and staff. Three takeaways in particular, from a session covering the Leading with Intent findings, struck me as especially important for independent schools.
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Beyond the Traditional Junior Board: Ways to Turn Millennials Into Leaders

Rebecca Koenig, The Chronicle of Philanthropy (Aug. 27, 2015)
Engaging millennials is a high priority for many nonprofits. These 20- and 30-somethings know how to use social media and care about doing good. And, of course, they will become the donors of the future. In order to capitalize on this potential, some…
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Board Performance Evaluated and Given B-

Julie Dappen, Map for Nonprofits (April 20, 2015)
More than 800 nonprofit organizations in the United State participated in a study which evaluated nonprofit board performance and as a result, awarded boards a B- average.

BoardSource, the organization which does this study each year, suggests the results are underwhelming considering board members are often thought of as community leaders and high achievers. …
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Does Your Board Foster Inclusivity?

Marla Cornelius, CompassPoint (Feb. 20, 2015)
Whether it’s stated explicitly or not, every board has a culture. Your board culture might be fostering good governance and supporting positive engagement or it might be hindering it. At the board level, culture is expressed in myriad ways, including—but not limited to—how meetings ….
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Training in Progress

Lalita Advani & Julia Chu, Stanford Social Innovation Review
Most successful companies recognize the value of motivating employees to contribute their time and talent to benefit their community. Often, however, company leaders grapple with the question of how to maximize the benefits of corporate involvement in volunteer efforts of that kind….
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The Face of Nonprofit Boards: A Network Problem

Tivoni Devor, Nonprofit Quarterly (March 5, 2015)
Within BoardSource’s 2014 Governance IndexLeading with Intent,” there lies an interesting paradox when it comes to board diversity. Forty-five percent of the boards and 69 percent of the CEOs surveyed are dissatisfied with their board’s diversity. Not only that, but 71 percent of boards and 75 percent of CEOs think a more diverse board would make them better at fulfilling their mission…
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‘Leading With Intent: A National Index of Nonprofit Board Practices’

Nonprofit CEOs and board chairs think boards do an okay job, assigning their own boards an average grade of “B-,”  a new report from BoardSource finds. Based on a survey of more than eight hundred nonprofit CEOs and board chairs, the report…
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Board members of non-profits earn B- grade: National report

David Stabler, The Oregonian (Jan. 27, 2015)
Board members of non-profit organizations earned a B- grade for their effectiveness leading social service, arts and other agencies, according to a national report.
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BoardSource’s 2014 Governance Index: Is Your Board “Normal”?

Ruth McCambridge, Nonprofit Quarterly (Jan. 27, 2015)
According to the 2014 BoardSource Governance Index, is your board out of step with the norm? In some cases, these norms may reflect good standards of practice; in others, not so much.
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