Being on the board of a charity is more than a position of honor ‚Äì with the title comes responsibility. And with the media, regulators, and even Congress, looking harder at nonprofits and charities, it is the wise Board Member that stays informed.
There are a number of resources that can help.
Board Source provides assistance to Board Members and nonprofit managers through publications, tools and a membership program. I am a big fan of “The Committee Series” and “The Governance Series” publications, which cover each of their topics well without being too long!
Governance Matters provides governance resources develop boards that serve their communities better. Members participate in advocacy, peer learning roundtables and workshops, and have access to educational resources.
BBB Wise Giving Alliance Standards for Charity Accountability. The BBB is the country’s oldest charity evaluation and donor education program. In 2003, the BBB issued new standards, with the first 5 dedicated specifically to Governance and Over Site.
The Panel on the Nonprofit Sector, convened by Independent Sector. The Panel on the Nonprofit Sector has released 31 recommended principles for effective practice, 10 of which deal specifically with board governance and practice.
Board Caf√©, from CompassPoint, is an e-newsletter directed at Nonprofit Board Members.
The Philanthropy Hub
The Philanthropy Hub offers both board training and consulting services to help either the novice or experienced board member. Whether you are working to launch a new organization or trying to revitalize and motivate the board of an existing one, we can help.
Board Trainings: Our board trainings can either “stand-alone” or to be incorporated into your regular board meetings.
We offer a variety of trainings geared specifically to Board Members and cover a wide range of topics, such as financial management basics, accountability and transparency, fundraising and development, conflicts of interest, board structures, and board-staff roles and responsibilities.
One popular option is our “Board Skills Snap Shot” series in which a cross section of topics are covered, each in a concise 30 minute lecture/Q&A format, designed to supplement the agenda of your already scheduled board meetings. Minimum of 4 sessions required.
Board Retreats are another popular choice. We can work with the staff and/or executive committee of the Board to develop a one-day workshop that combines skills education, team building and strategic planning. These sessions are designed to motivate and energize the Board!
Consulting Services: Many board members, especially those on the executive committee, find that they and the organization benefit from our consulting services, including accountability assessments, executive coaching and resource identification.
Accountability Assessments: Accountability is becoming increasingly important to winning donor support and avoiding negative media scrutiny- but how does an organization communicate its accountability to the public? An Accountability Assessment provides the board with a detailed report on the content and format of an organization’s financial statements, public documents and internet presence, with the goal of identifying omissions and red flags. Specific recommendations for improving transparency, financial communication, and accountability are provided.
Executive Coaching: If you are not sure what your Board or organization needs or where to turn for assistance, some unstructured time with the Philanthropy Hub’s experts may be just what you need. Calling on a wealth of experience assisting organizations of all sizes and organizational maturity, we can field questions, give advice and direction, and help you chart a path for the future. Once familiar with the challenges your board is facing, we can help you develop strategies for addressing them.
Resource Identification: Have you often thought “I am sure somebody does this . . .” when faced with a particular need? Well, you are probably right ‚Äì but finding the right service provider can be difficult. The Philanthropy Hub can help you find and evaluate your options, whether you are looking for a lawyer (or free legal help), a grant writer or professional fundraiser, an accountant or audit firm, or any of a number of other service providers.
For more information on these services, please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org.