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  • Writer's pictureBill

Do you want to improve your nonprofit's performance?

Then ensure your board understands its role and works as a team.

When board members understand their roles and work as a team, the board’s impact on nonprofit performance goes up. This is according to the most recent Leading with Intent survey by BoardSource, a nonprofit organization “focused on strengthening and supporting nonprofit board leadership.”

I could not agree more. When boards don’t have agreement on their role as a board and/or as individual board members, everything gets harder, such as making decisions, getting board members engaged and staying out of operations (that’s the staff’s job). Without a strong team atmosphere, the trust needed for good decision making rarely develops. So it’s “go along to get along” or complete disengagement by board members in the decision making process. All of which degrade the board’s effectiveness and make life harder for the chief executive.

Other take key findings in the report:

  • Boards are no more diverse than they were two years ago and current recruitment priorities indicate this is unlikely to change.

  • Boards are starting to embrace their roles as advocates for their missions, but stronger leadership is still needed.

  • Strong understanding of programs is linked to stronger engagement, strategy, and external leadership — including fundraising.

  • Boards that assess their performance regularly perform better on core responsibilities.

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