Why Boards Matter
Katie Seal, HoganTaylor Assurance Senior
In the nonprofit sector, we have come to an agreement on “good governance” and the things boards should do to effectively govern nonprofits. We have identified the board’s basic roles and developed metrics to gauge organizational success. Is there a relationship between board effectiveness and organization effectiveness?
Studies have shown that the most powerful board capacities from a narrow perspective are strategic planning and board relationships, and from a broad perspective are internal engagement and outside engagement. So what is the best way to strengthen your board?
First, engage in strategic planning that features clarity of vision and purpose, agreement on priorities, full board engagement in planning, as well as regular data-driven reflection on progress. To go along with this, there needs to be a strong relationship between the board and the chief executive that is based on mutual respect, trust, transparency, and accountability. Next, the board needs to be engaged internally and externally so that it is taking and encouraging a mission-centered, vision-based, focused, and inclusive approach for decision making; inspiring and motivating staff and stakeholders; helping secure necessary resources for efficient operations; and advocating for mission.