Mike Burns

Mike Burns

Mike Burns is partner at BWB Solutions

7 Recommendations for Including and Engaging Your Board Members

As boards become more diverse, ensuring that members are fully and meaningfully welcomed, oriented and engaged should become a bigger priority for nonprofit boards, too. Here are seven common-sense suggestions to improve your board’s engagement and inclusion efforts.

Go Beyond Board Recruitment With the Theory of Change

Throughout the nonprofit sector, there is significant activity around building a board that is inclusive and reflects the constituency of each nonprofit. The end result: more effective services. But recruitment is just the first step in achieving these outcomes. One tool that can help: The Theory of Change. 

Common-Sense Governance

While nonprofit board management is complicated, some of the complications can be addressed through basic common sense. Here are a number of common sense and tested suggestions that may reduce at least some of the complications that can affect achieving nonprofit board success.

Why Your Nonprofit Does Not Need an Executive Committee

Did you know that it is possible to have a nonprofit board committee that has more power and authority than the full board? No, I’m not making this up. This is most often in the form of a standing executive committee described in the by-laws.

Reverse Board Inaction With Informative Reports 

During the meeting — and this may be the only activity that happens at the meeting — there will be reports. Sometimes it feels like one report after another with an occasional question thrown-in and some member moving, and then the board votes to accept the report. And then, the meeting is over. Is this what you really signed up for?

The Nonprofit Board Treasurer: 4 Myths Busted

Are board members' expectations fair and realistic about what is involved with the board treasurer job and who should take on this role? Here are four of the most commonly shared myths about nonprofit board treasurers.

3 Ways To Resolve Board Participation Challenges

The board is the nonprofit’s caretaker and does its work on behalf of the public. Nonprofit execs have the task of understanding and executing how best to achieve the mission as defined by the board. Let's explore the factors that can affect and strategies that can address challenges to fully engaging board members...

How To Bring Out the Best Among Board Members and With the Executive Director

Fiduciary duties: compliance, risk management and strategy are the day-to-day focus of nonprofit board members. In my 40-plus years as a governance consultant, I have observed that the board’s success in fulfilling these duties is to varying degrees affected by, if not dependent upon, the type of relationships experienced by and with each member, and equally, if not more importantly, between each member and the executive director...

The 5 Ws and an H of the Written Board Report

Board meetings are relational and transactional affairs. The optimal results are achieved through processes guided by Consensus, Roberta or Robert’s rules that result in fully informed decisions that in turn further an organization’s mission while providing guidance to the executive director/CEO. But it really isn’t that simple, is it? Board decisions benefit best from comprehensive, accurate, timely and meaningful reports — be it from key staff or board standing committees or task forces...