Building a Power Board


Published on

While an effective board has always been important, it is especially essential in periods of economic turbulence. Board members who offer independent insights from their own experience, and provide access to external resources are critical to management when making decisions key to organizational viability. 

Building and sustaining a high performance board requires an investment of time, the right leadership and a thoughtful strategy. It is important to align the board’s role and its members’ expectations with the nonprofit’s stage of organizational development. Without proper stewardship, tension can arise when what an organization needs from its board transcends members’ understanding of their role .

Published in: Business, Education
1 Comment
1 Like
  • Hello my dear
    I am Modester by name good day. i just went to your profile this time true this site ( and i got your detail and your explanation in fact the way you explain your self shows me that you are innocent and maturity and also understand person i decided to have a contact with you so that we can explain to our self each other because God great everyone to make a friend with each other and from that we know that we are from thism planet God great for us ok my dear please try and reach me through my email address ( so that i can send you my picture true your reply we can know each other ok have a nice day and God bless you yours Modester
    Are you sure you want to  Yes  No
    Your message goes here
No Downloads
Total Views
On Slideshare
From Embeds
Number of Embeds
Embeds 0
No embeds

No notes for slide

Building a Power Board

  1. 1. <ul><li>Building A Power Board and other Walks on the Wild Side. </li></ul>.
  2. 2. Rebecca Gordon, CFRE [email_address] 573-338-3773 Twitter @rgordongor6
  3. 3. Welcome! Who Is Here?
  4. 4. Though many people are not aware of it, the nonprofit industry is an enormous contributor to the American economy.  Nonprofits employ over 12.9 million individuals, roughly 10% of the country’s workforce and in 2009, charitable giving totaled over 303 billion dollars, 75% of those dollars come from individuals committed to building healthy individuals and strong communities.  
  5. 5. Where Are We Heading Today?
  6. 7. <ul><li>What are the biggest challenges with your board? </li></ul>Building? Engaging? Empowering?
  7. 9. Service: Contribution to the welfare of others. The act of serving or a helpful act. Source – Merriam-Webster dictionary
  8. 10. Development: The total process by which an organization increase public understanding of its mission and acquires financial support for its programs. - Source: AFP Fundraising Dictionary
  9. 11. The First Step - You must build a POWER BOARD!
  10. 12. Great boards, once developed, actually remove burdens from management’s shoulders and inspire individual board members to increase their commitment.
  11. 13. More importantly…….Great Boards <ul><li>Bring Expertise </li></ul><ul><li>Strategic Guidance </li></ul><ul><li>Financial Support </li></ul><ul><li>PASSION </li></ul>
  12. 14. Ensuring Leadership and Resources <ul><li>The oft-quoted phrase “give, get, or get off” underscores the importance nonprofit organizations place on the fund-raising role of the board. </li></ul>
  13. 15. Ensuring Leadership and Resource <ul><li>In 2002, McKinsey and Company interviewed all 100 organizations named as top performers by Worth Magazine in 2001. </li></ul><ul><li>All 100 nonprofit organizations had 100% board participation in giving and getting. </li></ul>
  14. 16. We want a new board …..where do we start?
  15. 17. Building a Power Board – Converting Desire to Reality <ul><li>Converting the desire to build a high-performing board into a reality requires a combination of commitment and patience. </li></ul><ul><li>The board’s understanding and willingness to commit the time and work required is critical to the effort’s success. </li></ul>
  16. 18. <ul><li>“ A Growth Organization requires a strong board and strong executive leadership. A growth agency needs a board that leads the way in developing financial resources. A growth agency needs a board that oversees the financial performance of an organization and supports the executive staff’s efforts to manage for performance and accountability and build capacity” </li></ul><ul><li>Association of Fundraising Professionals – Keys to Successful Organizations. </li></ul>
  17. 19. Power Board <ul><li>Key Functions </li></ul><ul><li>Resource Development </li></ul><ul><li>Strategic Leadership </li></ul><ul><li>3. Governance/Oversight </li></ul>Power Board
  18. 20. Developing Financial Resources ( 50% of time and focus) <ul><li>The Board sets measurable objectives for Board Members’ leadership giving and getting. </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Members are asked to make ambitious leadership level gifts reflective of personal capacity. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Members are expected to identify, open doors to and advocate with potential donors. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Members work in concert with appropriate staff the thank donors. </li></ul></ul>
  19. 21. Provide Strategic Leadership (25 % of time and focus) <ul><li>The Board works to advance the agency’s vision and mission and plays a leadership role in the effort to develop and adhere to a long-term strategic plan. </li></ul><ul><li>The Board works collaboratively with the Program Board and organization staff. </li></ul>
  20. 22. Provide Governance and Oversight (25 % of time and focus) <ul><li>Select motivate and evaluate top CEO/ED </li></ul><ul><li>Develop Board Performance Expectations </li></ul><ul><li>Ensure adherence to all legal, ethical and regulatory requirements. </li></ul><ul><li>Provide Financial Oversight </li></ul><ul><ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Review financial management policies and procedures </li></ul></ul></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Review and approve the annual budget </li></ul></ul></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Ensure an effective audit </li></ul></ul></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Review Risk management policies and procedures </li></ul></ul></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Review and plan for operating reserves. </li></ul></ul></ul></ul></ul>
  21. 23. Getting the right people on the board is essential. To build the required composition, the nominating committee will identify gaps in composition based on current institutional priorities.
  22. 24. Composition Grid <ul><li>Fundraising </li></ul><ul><li>Program Expertise </li></ul><ul><li>Legal Skills </li></ul><ul><li>Financial Management </li></ul><ul><li>Marketing </li></ul><ul><li>Leadership Potential </li></ul><ul><li>Gender </li></ul><ul><li>Location </li></ul><ul><li>Race/Ethnicity </li></ul><ul><li>Time </li></ul><ul><li>Treasure </li></ul><ul><li>Talent </li></ul>
  23. 25. Four Final Elements to Consider <ul><li>Make careful decisions on board size and structure. </li></ul><ul><li>Actively manage board composition </li></ul><ul><li>Inspired board and committee leadership </li></ul><ul><li>Simple administrative practices and processes ,made routine. </li></ul>
  24. 26. The Secret to Engaging YOUR Board.
  25. 27. “ Feeling good is what nonprofits sell.” Seth Godin, Author
  26. 28. Communication is KEY to cracking the secret! <ul><li>Communication Includes: </li></ul>
  27. 29. “ The single biggest problem in communication is the illusion that it has taken place” George Bernard Shaw
  28. 30. The Channel of Communication – Who is communicating? <ul><li>Staff </li></ul><ul><li>Board Peer </li></ul><ul><li>Community Members </li></ul>
  29. 31. What are the Channels of Communication? <ul><li>Board Meetings </li></ul><ul><li>Newsletters </li></ul><ul><li>Email </li></ul><ul><li>Social Media </li></ul><ul><li>Phone </li></ul>* Communication is personal…
  30. 32. Information Seeking Behavior Where do we seek our information?
  31. 33. Intervening Variables……… <ul><li>Thousands of Messages </li></ul><ul><li>Deadlines </li></ul><ul><li>Competing Interests </li></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Family </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Work </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Other issues </li></ul></ul></ul>
  32. 35. Top of Mind Awareness – Created and Reinforced by the organization and its leadership.        First position is important because the business that is in the first position is 2X more profitable than the business in 2 nd position and  4X more profitable than the business in 3 rd position.  Mark Dahl Accountable Marketing Research Group
  33. 36. Okay, that’s marketing – but how do we translate this to engaging our board?
  34. 37. Powerful contributions are made when: People are in touch with their purpose, their vision and with the difference they make. When it is clear that a board member’s goals are clear and ATTAINABLE – they are engaged to succeed! Lynne Twist – Fundraising From the Heart
  35. 38. Your Communication: You have an opportunity to empower people to feel like a super hero. To cause a connection that deeply aligns with that person’s highest ideas and values.
  36. 40. So What Does All of this Mean? Have you ever asked your board members………… WHY THIS ORGANIZATION? WHY THIS BOARD? WHY NOW?
  37. 41. Listen to their responses: Board Members are our biggest donors, advocates, sponsors, partners. An engaged board starts with board members who feel successful and know how their contributions impact the organization. The difference between being
  38. 42. Tools for Board Engagement Success Board Mentoring Succession Planning Board Elections Term Limits The Power of “Bless and Release”
  39. 43. Pots of Gold! Board engagement is about - connecting a board members passion, their motivations, with our mission.
  40. 45. THANK YOU! Rebecca Gordon, CFRE [email_address] 573-338-3773 Twitter – rgordongor6