Board Membership and Best Practices


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Fundraising and Development presentation on best practice models when your board of directors fails to chip in

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  • JAMES: agenda
  • Beth: board
  • Melissa
  • Beth: City YearJAMES:National Center for Non-Profit Boards, Mersky Jaffe & Associates, SNPO, EbscoHost and Web of Science are a sample of the sources
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  • Board Membership and Best Practices

    1. 1. Building the Board to Build the Organization<br />Beth Bryant Melissa DavieJames Miller<br />November 30, 2009<br />
    2. 2. Agenda<br />Introduction/Explanation: Board of Directors<br />Case Study: Wide Horizons<br />Methodology<br />Recruitment<br />Expectations<br />Accountability<br />Recommendations<br />Question and Answers<br />
    3. 3. Why focus on the Board?<br /> Board members play crucial roles in the resource development process. Their most important role is ensuring that the nonprofit organization is well governed and worthy of support, but they also support fundraising. Development professionals will only reach their full potential if they can help board members be effective in their resource development roles.<br />“Helping Board Members Understand Their Roles”, Chapter 4, New Directions for Philanthropic Fundraising, Summer 2004<br />
    4. 4. Wide Horizons For Children, Inc.<br /> The mission of Wide Horizons For Children is to help each child, regardless of the country or circumstances of birth, experience the security of a loving, permanent family. We are committed to providing humanitarian aid to benefit children around the world, particularly those who are waiting for a family or may never be adopted.<br />
    5. 5. Wide Horizons: an Overview<br />Established in 1970s as one of the first international adoption agencies in the U.S.<br />International adoption have been declining since the peak in 2004<br />Decline in adoption has caused Wide Horizons to position itself as more of a holistic child welfare agency<br />Downturn has increased the focus on humanitarian efforts, but also caused the agency to examine fundraising strategies<br />
    6. 6. Wide Horizons: Fundraising Shift<br />Portion of adoption referral fees has always contributed to humanitarian aid<br />Due the reduction in adoption service revenue, the agency must increasingly rely on private donations<br />Though Wide Horizons has a strong alumni support system, current private donations are not enough to help humanitarian aid become self-sustainable<br />
    7. 7. Wide Horizons: The Board’s Role<br />Board has historically focused on operational oversight, rather than fundraising and development<br />Conversation was not even open until recently<br />Now the Leadership Team is wondering how they can expand the board’s role and responsibilities and shift the culture to encourage a focus on fundraising<br />
    8. 8. Background Information<br />City Year is a non-profit with one national Board of Trustees, however, each site has its own local site board. (20 in all) <br />Literature Review focused on targeted articles and resources available through a myriad of academic research engines, as well as practitioners in the field of fundraising for non-profit organizations.<br />
    9. 9. Overview of Assessment<br />
    10. 10. Best Practices: Recruitment<br />The literature suggests a standardized method of assessing strengths and weaknesses of a potential board member <br />City Year integrates a Site Board Development Balanced Scorecard<br />A recommended composition (profile) of site boards that reflect diversity in professional sectors, areas of contribution, skills, age, gender, and race. Using this profile, you can assess what skills are necessary for your board.<br />
    11. 11.
    12. 12. Recruitment Recommendations:<br />First Wide Horizons must determine a board member profile in terms of organization fit:<br />Ability to give, to get, their commitment to the cause<br />Recruitment process should be strategic and targeted<br />Process should be led by the organization, and the once profile has been determined, then potential members can be identified<br />Specific organizational and skill-related needs should be considered before approaching potential member<br />Cultivation process should be lengthy<br />There should be a well established relationship prior to asking a donor/alumni to join the board (the ask should never be cold)<br />Clear expectations related to fundraising should be discussed in-depth before any commitment is make<br />
    13. 13. Overview of Assessment<br />
    14. 14. Best Practices: Board Expectations<br />The literature states the earlier you educate the board members to the expectations of the organization the better. Productivity and creativity are correlated with an educated and prepared board <br />City Year established 10 baselines regarding the structure and work of the board with the most significant expectation being the Give or Get.<br />The literature also illuminates the benefit of indirect monetary support such as “Friend-Raising”<br />
    15. 15. City Year’s Give or Get<br />
    16. 16. Expectation Recommendations<br />Board Members understand their fiduciary responsibility includes fundraising<br />Organization should consider utilizing term limits<br />Must consider historical role of the board<br />The first goal is to make each board member a fundraiser<br />The future goal is to set a minimum for giving<br />
    17. 17. Overview of Assessment<br />
    18. 18. Best Practices: Accountability<br />Literature suggests that the board’s primary goal is their fiduciary responsibility to the organization.<br />Furthermore, developing an oversight/advisory committee within the board will help guide priorities<br />Regional Director and Vice President of City Year, Chris Larson states:<br />“Board policies should be a like a great Human Resources policy and not back an Executive Director into a corner. They should be designed to make it a management issue.”<br />
    19. 19. Accountability Recommendations<br />Again must be careful to avoid changing too much at once<br />Managing accountability through constant and open communication<br />Leadership Team: Chief Operating Officer and Development Director working with key change agents<br />Use of sub-committees (encourage/pressure other members)<br />
    20. 20. Synthesis of Findings<br />Long term goals based on recommendations<br />Determine best fit of board members to the organization<br />Determine expectations early<br />Newer trends in ‘Give or Get’, Board Expectations<br />Managing accountability based on the situations<br />Little research on the topic, but something we must always be aware of.<br />Making smart management choices<br />Advisory Board<br />Consisting of up to 50 members<br />Only meeting 1-2 times per year (not involved in day to day decisions)<br />Leverage high-profile/celebrity clients<br />Lend their name, wealth and network<br />National and international reach<br />
    21. 21. Question and Answer?<br />
    22. 22. Thank You foryour time!<br />