When your board or staff are evaluating how well your organization is doing, it helps to think about your mother. Because if you don’t believe that your organization is a wise investment for your mother, it really isn’t for anyone else’s mom (or dad or sister or brother) either.
Check out Gayle’s contribution to two new books recently published for the “In The Trenches” series of CharityChannel Press.
When You and Your Nonprofit Board, edited by Terrie Temkin, arrived in our mailbox, we had to read it from cover to cover. Gayle’s contribution, “You’re Not the Boss of Me: the Board Chair and CEO Relationship,” is one of 46 thoughtful essays by America’s leading writers on nonprofit governance. One reviewer says, You and Your Nonprofit Board reads like a conversation among friends, if all your friends were “brilliant and brimming with ideas.”
Eleven board practices I try to live by: 1Only choose board service if you are willing to carry the moral obligation on your shoulders.2. Serve organizations whose vision and values you are passionate about (or will quickly grow to be). 3. Limit your board service – two boards at one time is usually enough.
But where is the added value, the real difference that your board will make? I’m not talking bout the volunteer contributions of individual board members, but the collective entity that is The Board (that corporate entity that sits around the table at a board meeting).
If you’re at a loss for value based objectives, try framing your board work around these questions:
* What questions about our organization’s future and its societal impact must we answer this year?
* How will we demonstrate our accountability to the community in whose interests we are acting?
* To whom are we accountable now? Is that whom we should be accountable to?
* How do we know that our organization is really making a difference?
* What will truly shift the landscape for the problems we address?
* What might we imagine on the horizon that we should already be preparing for?
* What is our ideal relationship with other community partners? What do they want from us? How do we know? What are we prepared to do?
* Do we have a clear definition of organizational health? Are we sufficiently resilient?
Great workshops being presented by Cause & Effect Inc. around New England Fall of 2009.