Smart Giving: Look Who's on the Board

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Smart Giving: Look Who's on the Board

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Nell Minow: Investors R paying attention to who's on for-profit boards. Alice Korngold: Nonprofit donors should do same.
Wednesday, October 14, 2009 - 7:00am


Whether you're an individual, company or foundation, making a significant contribution, you can get a good idea of an organization's vitality and prospects for success by taking a look at who's on the board.

As the editor and co-Founder of the Corporate Library, Nell Minow said in a recent Financial Times article about for-profit boards, that "in the years before its with most of the banks, Lehman's board had almost no expertise in the kinds of financial instruments and transactions that were an essential part of its balance sheet." She gave an example of an audit committee of a company that in 1986 had just two members; "neither had expertise in accounting or finance; and one was O.J. Simpson."

For nonprofits as with for-profits, it is essential for the board of directors to be highly purposeful...

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