The Role of the Board in Nonprofit Success
- The board as a whole stands by its CEO.
- The board feels that it is in a partnership with the CEO, not an employee/boss relationship.
13. Group process. The best boards pay attention to the intangible issue of "group process"—how the board members work together as a group. They understand that some people are heard more than others and the informal communications that usually happen outside board meetings.
- They make sure that one group (usually the long-time board members) does not dominate, so nobody ever says, "That's the way we've always done it."
- They deliberately try to bring out the more silent members of the board.
14. Focus. High-performing boards are willing to stay focused on what's best for the organization—not their personal agendas or preferences.
- This means that fundraising strategies are chosen based on hard data and not on various people's likes or dislikes.
- Great boards have members who may have their personal agendas but who are willing to put them aside for the benefit of the organization.
15. Conflict. Great boards are not afraid of strong discussion at board meetings, but they keep it cordial. Because trust and a team spirit are already developed, healthy conflict can occur and no one is bothered by it.
- Board members are willing to challenge each other, with respect.
- Board members don't shy away from asking the tough questions—of each other too.
16. Adhere to structure. Great boards never go around the CEO to individual staff unless they are working on a specific project directly with staff.
- Individual board members are not interfering with the daily work of staff.
- Staff members feel protected from potentially meddling board members by their CEO and this process.
17. Messaging. High-performing board members are clear on what the message is. They know why their organizations need and deserve financial support.