Getting the Governance you Deserve!

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We take you through how to take your board through the process of building its capacity to goveer

We take you through how to take your board through the process of building its capacity to goveer

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  • 1. Getting the Governance You Deserve! Strategies to Invest in Board Leadership for Sustainability and Growth Presenters: Melanie & Jason Friedman, Friedman Associates
  • 2. Friedman Associates • Our mission is to help MDOs and CDFIs to achieve your vision for a sustainable and economically vibrant community – and demonstrate the results that lead to increased funding and long-term success. • Areas of specialization include:        Product development and staff training in microfinance and business development services Developing systems for client tracking and program performance Market Analysis and Capital Gap Analysis Strategic planning Board development Fund development strategies CDFI Certification and TA/FA Applications
  • 3. What is Sustainability? “Most CDFIs view sustainability as balancing a focus on mission, organizational capacity and capitalization such that a CDFI can sustain or increase it's impact over time.” Mary Reynolds Babcock Foundation, CDFIs: A Study on Growth and Sustainability, June 2011
  • 4. The Role of Governance in Sustainability • A critical piece of the "sustainability puzzle" is leadership, especially your Board of Directors. • Demands for self-sufficiency and the need to demonstrate mission-driven success prompts us to take deliberate steps to increase the active governance of our organizations and ensure for our own renewal and development. • In a recent study of CDFIs by the Mary Reynolds Babcock Foundation, half of the ED’s surveys cited smart, committed staff and board members as the most essential catalysts for their own past growth. 4
  • 5. You can avoid this… “The motion has been made and seconded that we stick our heads in sand” “Perhaps it would help if I go over it one more time”
  • 6. Key Questions/Issues • Our CDFI is changing and evolving but our Board has not. How do we make the transition? • How do you encourage more active board engagement? • What is the process to build the capacity of our board? • What tools can we use?
  • 7. Our Agenda for Today • Board Roles and Responsibilities  Normal Evolution of Nonprofits & Impact on Board Roles  Board Member Job Description & Annual Agreement  Differentiating Between Board & Staff Roles • Ongoing Board Development  Identifying Board Development Needs Through SelfAssessment  Board Tool Needed for Excellent Governance  Board Composition, Recruitment & Training 7
  • 8. I. Board Roles and Responsibilities
  • 9. Basic Roles and Responsibilities • Define, protect and advance the mission • Organizational ambassadors • Safeguard assets (human, financial, property) • Recruit, hire, support & review the ED • Ensure adequate resources to carry out the mission
  • 10. Nonprofit Organizational Lifecycle Model Sustain MATURE STAGNANT Renew ADOLESCENT DEFUNCT START UP
  • 11. Normal Evolution of Nonprofits & Impact on Board Roles Stage I: Organizing Board Tend to be one of two types: (1) Following a founder and passive or (2) a group actively working to get the organization up and running as hands-on workers. Stage II: Governing Board Board & staff relations are better balanced with board focusing more on its governance role, establishes committees to organize the board's work with focus on policy & strategy . Stage III: Institutional Board Tends to be large and shift to focus on members with capacity to give or provide access to funders. Governance role is well established & formal.
  • 12. Organization V. Board Mode Organization Board Start-Up Establish programs, secure Hands-on, operational, focused funding, prove viability on Mission & program delivery Adolescence Additional paid staff, grow Less day-to-day, various community awareness committee formation to fill staffing gaps Mature Strategic growth, improved operations, diverse fundraising Shift to governance/strategy focus. Fundraising and board recruitment become priority Decline Shift in community needs, loss of funding, lack of strategy or vision Disengaged board or disagreement on organizational future, high-turn over
  • 13. Lifecycle and Governance • Good governance is understanding where your organization falls in its cycle of development and how to build capacity along the way. • Board members and executive staff must work together to articulate a vision for the organization at every stage of the nonprofit’s life and find the best ways to make it a reality. • The role of the board will change in the organization’s lifecycle. Accept it! Embrace it! Plan for it!
  • 14. How Do You Make the Transition? Phase Board Roles Start-Up Clarify board member roles, responsibilities; Create formal governance structure Adolescence Formalize board recruitment process; Develop orientation & mentor program; Focus on policies Mature Institute an annual board evaluation Enhance board fundraising capacity Enhance board committee structure Decline Re-energize or develop new board Explore partnerships with others Engage third party to mediate conflicts
  • 15. “What I am I supposed to do on this board?” Tool: The Ultimate Board Member Job Description and Annual Agreement
  • 16. Board Member Job Description & Annual Agreement • Regardless of where you are in the life cycle, it is critical that you have a detailed board member job description. • Sample job description and annual agreement. • The job description is a tool for engagement with board members. • Identifies board responsibilities and staff support.
  • 17. Work towards….. • Committees have chairs, job descriptions and work plans with deadlines like staff. • Each committee has a staff liaison. • The Vice-Chair is responsible for obtaining committee reports for Board meetings. • The Executive Committee develops board meeting agendas with ED. • The Chair, and not the ED, holds board members accountable for their work and meets with them individually each year to review performance. • The board conducts a self-assessment periodically.
  • 18. How Do You Make the Transition?
  • 19. II. Ongoing Board Development How Do We Take Care of Ourselves?
  • 20. Familiar? • Lack of participation, engagement • Forgetfulness • Weak leadership • Drama/Gossip • Great ideas, no follow through • Founder Syndrome • Micro-management • Stray from the core • Lack of time • Lack of understanding
  • 21. I.D. Board Development Needs Through Self-Assessment • Establish a baseline in the attitudes, perceptions and experiences about board participation and functioning. • We recommend an anonymous board survey. • Visual results • • • • • • • • • • • • Board and staff roles Policy making practices Planning practices Fiscal management practices Fund raising practices Board structure and practices Board committees Board meetings Board Membership & Orientation Board-Executive Relationship Monitoring & Evaluation Practices External Relations
  • 22. The Tool for Excellent Governance • Board Policy Manual (BPM): A thorough and easy-to-use manual of board policies to orient new board members and for continuous education of existing board members. • Orientation handbook that provides useful information about the organization, board structure and operations, and fellow board members and staff. • Indispensable working tool and a central resource about the organization and the board.
  • 23. Why the BPM? • Efficiency of having all on-going board policies in one place • Ability to quickly orient new board members to current policies. • Elimination of redundant, or conflicting, policies over time. • Ease of reviewing current policy when considering new issues. • Clear, pro-active policies to guide the board and staff.
  • 24. Board Development Cycle Board Composition, Recruitment & Training
  • 25. Board Development Cycle: Board Composition, Recruitment & Training • The Board Development Cycle: A basic responsibility of the board is to ensure its own renewal and development. The board development cycle is one way of describing the key steps in this process. • Year round process.
  • 26. Develop a Board Profile • Develop a profile of the skills, qualities and knowledge that the board will need in order to address the challenges facing the organization in the next few years. • The board profile is a way of translating the organization's strategic goals and priorities into a description of the kinds of people who are needed for the board. • Please note that a board profile is much easier to create if the organization has a vision and a strategic plan. It is recommended that a board profile be reviewed annually.
  • 27. Create an Annual Board Calendar • Governing boards have an annual agenda of things to accomplish. • Creating a work plan or annual calendar can help a board get organized and manage its responsibilities effectively. • To get started, think about which activities are ongoing and regular, which are annual, and which need attention only occasionally. • Take your board activities and procedures and map out on the calendar.
  • 28. For more information Jason Friedman, Principal Friedman Associates 319-341-3556