Fixing Your Nonprofit Board: When Incremental Steps Aren't Enough
If your board is absent a person with expertise in a certain area -- like finance or law, go find and recruit the right person. If your board needs a bit of training and inspiration, bring in a terrific expert for a lively, illuminating session. In some cases, however, the board can't be fixed by simply adding a board member or two, or featuring a governance seminar.
Nonprofits face greater financial challenges than ever before; studies from the Nonprofit Finance Fund confirm our personal anecdotal experiences. This is also a time of extraordinary opportunity as new philanthropists come onto the scene, corporations and foundations show fresh interest in alternative funding approaches, and fees for services present innovative options.
Given such extreme challenges and opportunities, nonprofit boards have greater responsibilities than ever before. Furthermore, in my nearly thirty years of consulting to global, national, and regional nonprofit boards of directors, including foundations, health care institutions, and universities, I observe that boards are increasingly self-aware -- seeking to be more educated and effective in performing their board work. It's no coincidence that this awakening comes at a time of growing demand for accountability and transparency.