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Nonprofit Board of Directors Best Practices


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In this 1-hour webinar hosted by CharityNet USA, we review the 20 best practices for nonprofit board of directors. For more information on nonprofit startup, visit:

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Nonprofit Board of Directors Best Practices

  1. 1. Key Speaker Melanie Swift M.N.M Director of Nonprofit Services CharityNet USA Moderator Nicole Roach Marketing Coordinator CharityNet USA
  2. 2. • CharityNet USA: A “One-stop” resource center for nonprofit organizations nationwide! • Key Speaker: Melanie Swift • Questions • Recorded Webinar Available At:
  3. 3. • About Boards of Directors (BoD) • Twenty Best Practices for BoD • Conclusion • Questions
  4. 4. Boards of Directors have many responsibilities and fill various roles: – Such as • Provide leadership as a governing body • Approve annual budgets • Ensure sufficient available financial resources • Fulfill legal obligations • Responsible to stakeholders for organizations’ achievements and shortcomings
  5. 5. • Generally elected • Roles, responsibilities, and powers are usually outlined in bylaws • Members may have diverse backgrounds, although usually share common goals
  6. 6. Governance Hat  Worn only when in a properly called meeting Volunteer Hat  Worn when advising the Executive Director, fundraising, and helping staff Implementer Hat  Seldom worn, as program implementation is usually the responsibility of staff
  7. 7. The following practices are general guidelines, and should be tailored to meet your specific needs. Organization characteristics to consider include: • Size • Location • Industry • Population served • 501 status • Business mindedness • Other unique factors
  8. 8. 20. Stay Mission Driven  Shape and uphold the mission; articulate a compelling vision  Maintain consistency with mission, vision, values in decisions, policies, and actions  “Keep the Dream Alive” 19. Strategic Thinking  Allocate time to what matters most  Continuously monitor the environment to hone direction
  9. 9. 18. Develop a culture of transparency, consistency, and accountability. – Ensure that donors, stakeholders, and interested members of the public have access to appropriate and accurate information regarding finances, operations, and results.
  10. 10. 17. Be Results-Oriented  Continuously measure progress toward mission fulfillment  Evaluate efficiency, effectiveness, and impact of major programs and services 16. Remain Independent  Mainly volunteer  Lack of relationships
  11. 11. 15. Plan for Revitalization  Understand the importance of fresh perspectives  Energize the board through planned turnover and thoughtful, continuous recruitment
  12. 12. 14. Develop a Conflict of Interest policy – Be sure members abstain from voting when there is a potential conflict of interest – Ensure arm’s length negotiations 13. Develop and adopt a Whistle Blower policy – It’s important for employees to know they will be protected if/when they protect the organization
  13. 13. 12. Boards of Directors should meet at least once per quarter. 11. Documentation is crucial  Meetings, decisions, presentations, and so forth should be documented appropriately  Examples of documents: minutes, receipts, and handbooks
  14. 14. 10. Charity should begin at the office – As leaders of the organization, members should make it a point to donate their time and money to their organization – 100% Contributing Boards ideal 9. Fundraising Accountability – Members often raise funds and garner resources • Often have an extensive network • Accountable to their word and for their efforts
  15. 15. 8. Sustain Resources  Link bold visions and ambitious plans to financial support  Approve activities that can be realistically financed with existing or attainable resources
  16. 16. 7. Always have financials audited by an outside organization.  Change auditors/auditing organization every five years.
  17. 17. 6. Board members should be aware of current laws and policies  This will help keep the organization out of legal trouble 5. Ensure Compliance  As part of ongoing strategic planning, be aware of all federal, state, and local compliance issues
  18. 18. 4. The Board of Directors should comply with the Duty of Loyalty – In other words, Boards of Directors needs to look out for the best interest of the organization – Never use information or resources obtained as a member of the board for personal gain
  19. 19. 3. Fulfill the SOX Act audit standards – The Sarbanes-Oxley Act of 2002 is mandatory. – Focus on, and tailor appropriate organizational response to meet SOX requirements. – Created to protect against accounting crimes by outlining new standards for accountability. **For more information, please see:
  20. 20. 2. The Board of Directors and the organization’s Executive Director should have a strong working relationship.
  21. 21. 1. Continuously review your Board of Directors’ best practices and board effectiveness
  22. 22. • Members should be chosen carefully, and understand their roles and responsibilities • It is crucial for members to follow legal regulations and work for their organization’s success, even when it means making difficult decisions • Every organization should have a formal Board Policy Manual
  23. 23. • Developing a Strategic Plan: 6-17-2010 3pm EST
  24. 24. • CharityNet Nonprofit Services • 501c3 Prep • Grant Writing • Strategic Planning • Website Development • Graphic Design • Marketing • Bookkeeping & Accounting • One-on-Consultation Time
  25. 25. • Contact Us • Nicole Roach: • Melanie Swift: • Visit or Call 407-857-9002 Facebook Fan Page: CharityNet USA