Freeing Nonprofits from Their Risk-Averse Shackles

Unprecedented crisis requires equally unprecedented response and risk taking. Undoubtedly, this is not an entirely foreign concept for many of us in the nonprofit sector. Most likely, we’ve heard one variation or another of this statement. And, often times, our willingness to take on risk comes...


Topics: financial oversight

Wounded Warrior Project – A Classic Case Study

Posted by Vernetta Walker Chief Governance Officer, BoardSource on Mar 28, 2016 9:00:00 AM

Some of us just can’t get enough of the Wounded Warrior Project scandal, and that includes me. In the same way that people get hooked on a scintillating TV series or book, I’ve been captivated by the onslaught of articles taking aim at WWP. These stories are a constant reminder that the public...


Topics: oversight, Wounded Warrior Project

Is it Time to Dust off Your Nonprofit’s Conflict-of-Interest Policy?

Posted by Erin Berry, VP, Marketing and Communications, BoardSource on Mar 17, 2016 10:44:00 AM

Based on our most recent field study and national nonprofit index, Leading with Intent, 95 percent of nonprofit organizations have conflict-of-interest policies in place. So, right now, you are asking yourself, “Then why should I read this? I am busy!” The answer is simple: Because many...


Topics: Conflict of Interest

Economy Continues to Dominate Concerns of Nonprofit Leaders in 2016

Which general areas do you think will, or should, concern nonprofit boards the most in 2016? In a “pulse” survey recently conducted by BoardSource and the Nonprofit Quarterly, “General economic uncertainty, increased volatility, and shocks” was identified as the main concern. This issue was one...


Topics: Leading with Intent

Form 990 — A Guide for Newcomers to Nonprofit Research

BoardSource’s director of research and evaluation suggests how nonprofit research newcomers and students can best wrestle this beast to the ground and extract value (without too many scars that you wouldn’t want to show around the office).


Topics: Research, Form 990

Why Youth Diversity Matters

Staying relevant in a world that is constantly changing is challenging for many nonprofits. To plan for the future and the risks that come with change, best practices direct boards to be inquisitive, think strategically, and remain relevant and connected to their communities. But how can boards,...


Topics: Board Diversity & Inclusivity, Recruitment, Junior Boards, Next Generation

How to Catch a Unicorn: Diversify Your Nonprofit Board Like You Mean it

Posted by Jermaine Smith on Feb 18, 2016 11:00:00 AM


I am a millennial. I am a black man. I am a fundraiser. I am a board member (and soon board chair). These are some of the ways I describe myself. Yet, as my experience in the nonprofit sector has deepened, I have discovered that many board leaders describe me a different way:

I am a unicorn.



Topics: Board Diversity & Inclusivity

Got Vizzies? 10 tips for nonprofit chief executives considering the dynamic visualization corner of the “Big Data” world.

Like many nonprofits, BoardSource strives to keep up with the rapidly-evolving world of Big Data, both to increase our own data-based decision-making for continuous improvement internally and to deliver more value to our external community. Recently, this ongoing process has resulted in me...


Topics: Data Visualization, Dashboard, Mission Impact

A New Framework for BoardSource’s Leadership

Posted by Anne Wallestad, president & CEO on Jan 29, 2016 8:00:00 AM

This past December marked my seven-year anniversary as a member of BoardSource’s leadership team. I came on board in December of 2008, just after we had adopted a new strategic plan — one that focused us on thinking big about the future of board leadership and governance. It adopted some very...


Topics: BoardSource, Strategic Initiative, Transparency

“It Really Matters Who’s In Charge”

Posted by Jermaine Smith on Jan 21, 2016 3:00:00 PM

“It really matters who’s in charge.” James Carville spoke these words at the 2015 BoardSource Leadership Forum (BLF), held last November in New Orleans. I attended the conference as a Judith O’Connor Scholar. Even though it’s been several months since the conference took place, I cannot shake...


Topics: Roles and Responsibilities, BoardSource Leadership Forum