Generative Governance: Making Sense of Problems through Critical Inquiry

Posted by Makiyah Moody on Jul 11, 2016 11:00:00 AM

Board meetings tend to remind me of sitcoms: a genre of comedy centered on characters who share a common environment, such as a home, workplace, or a boardroom, with laughable moments. There is usually a board member who lacks self-awareness (i.e. Kramer from Seinfeld), someone who has a very...


Topics: meetings, Generative Governance

How to "Host" a Successful Board Meeting

Posted by Natalie Hanlon on Jun 29, 2016 11:36:31 AM

The board meeting was only at the 30-minute mark, but eyes were already starting to droop. The AC was out, and the small fans whirred in the background like a white noise machine. Prior to the meeting, board members were treated to a 4-course lunch, and the rich food was adding to the...


Topics: meetings

A Child's View of Nonprofit Board Culture

Posted by Liz Wooten Reschke on Jun 9, 2016 8:30:00 AM

As both a mom and a consultant in the nonprofit sector, I often wonder what my world looks like to my two young children, who currently understand very little about what “mommy does.” What, for example, might they conclude about board culture if they were to venture with me into a nonprofit...


Topics: Culture, meetings

Leadership of the Board Chair in Creating Board Culture

Posted by Mindy R. Wertheimer, Ph.D., LCSW on Jun 2, 2016 8:00:00 AM

Are you the next or the new board chair? Thinking about it in your future? Routinely, a new board chair begins to receive advice – and warnings – from others such as “but we have always done it that way,” or “don’t rock the boat” and, on the flip side, “breathe new life into our board” or...


Topics: Culture, Board Chair

Is Nonprofit Planning an Oxymoron?

Posted by Hardy Smith on May 26, 2016 9:18:05 AM

When I ask audiences of nonprofit leaders to indicate how many of them engage in strategic planning, have an annual action plan, or make time to plan out the projects and activities that are critical to their success, the all too familiar response is that many don’t.

Ironically, those same...


Topics: strategic planning

Reassuring level of knowledge revealed by nonprofit financial literacy quiz

Chris Thompson, BoardSource’s numbers guy (and experienced ATM user) explores what can be learned from our recent financial literacy quiz.

Of the 10 basic board responsibilities, “finance” appears prominently in two of them: “ensuring adequate financial resources” and “protecting assets and...


Topics: financial oversight

Six Steps to Improve Board Financial Oversight

Posted by Bob Wittig on May 16, 2016 10:00:00 AM

Financial oversight is probably one of the most important board responsibilities. It’s important because an organization’s nonprofit status can come with some really nice benefits that may include:

  • no income taxes
  • no sales taxes
  • no property taxes
  • donations to the organization are tax-deductible

Topics: financial oversight

Leading with Intent Comes of Age: A glimpse at what 21 years of change in nonprofit governance looks like

In 1994, Amazon was launched, the infamous Lorena Bobbitt went on trial and was found temporarily insane, Michael Jackson married Elvis’s daughter, and Howard Stern ran for governor of New York. Given such momentous cultural milestones, it is hardly surprising that the first-ever BoardSource...


Topics: Leading with Intent

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