Advocacy: An essential board responsibility

[Updated – original version published on July 15, 2015] Advocacy is an essential board responsibility. That’s the new message being espoused by BoardSource in connection with the release of the third edition of Ten Basic Responsibilities of Nonprofit Boards. I’ve long asserted that board members should consider whether advocacy (and in some cases lobbying) would be an effective strategy and if […]

Duties of the President and/or Chair of the Board

Who’s in charge? This is a commonly asked question when structuring the governance and management of a nonprofit corporation. Is it the president or chair of the board? Do nonprofits need to maintain both of these positions? And how does an executive director fit into this equation? Directors vs. Officers It’s important to first distinguish […]

Kevin Durant to the Warriors: 7 Lessons for Nonprofits

Kevin Durant announced he was signing with the Golden State Warriors after nine years with the Oklahoma Thunder. Weeks ago, the Warriors beat the Thunder 4-3 in the NBA Western Conference Finals after trailing 3-1. But the Warriors could not repeat as two-time NBA champions after falling to the Cleveland Cavaliers in the NBA Finals. […]

BoardSource Leadership Forum 2015

New Orleans The 2015 BoardSource Leadership Forum (BLF) was held in New Orleans on November 9-10 with more than 900 board members, chief executives, staff, and nonprofit professionals attending to discuss the newest thinking and best practices in nonprofit governance. Marking the 10th anniversary of Hurricane Katrina, BLF 2015: Leading Together for the Public Good speaks to […]

A Board’s Role in Hiring the Executive

On Nonprofit Radio this Friday, there will be a repeat broadcast of my conversation with Tony Martignetti on the subject of the board’s role in hiring the executive. In connection with the initial broadcast, I previously posted 10 Tips for Boards on executive succession. Here, I’d like to discuss further the 7th Tip: Determine the qualities, […]

Nonprofit Law 101 for Journalists

  Prompted by a conversation among nonprofit leaders about the public’s and media’s general lack of knowledge about nonprofits, this article targeted at journalists briefly discusses some basics of federal tax laws applicable to 501(c)(3) organizations and common state corporate and charitable trust laws applicable to nonprofits. Internal Revenue Code Section 501(c)(3) Exempt Purposes A 501(c)(3) […]

Where Nonprofit Boards Fall Short

A few months ago, Harvard Business Review published a great piece by Dominic Barton and Mark Wiseman titled Where Boards Fall Short.  In the piece, the authors examined the ways in which boards of directors are failing their organizations and discussed areas in which we should begin to make changes regarding how we approach board […]

Independent Sector’s Principles for Good Governance

The legal duties of a board member go beyond ensuring that the organization complies with applicable law. A board member must act with reasonable care and good faith in the best interests of the organization. The best interests of a 501(3)(3) organization are related to its performance of its charitable, educational, religious or other qualifying exempt purpose. […]

Nonprofit Radio: Board Calendars

I’ll be on Nonprofit Radio speaking with host Tony Martignetti this Friday at 10:30 am PT / 1:30 pm ET discussing agenda items nonprofit boards should get on the board calendar at the start of the year. You can tune in to the live feed on Talking Alternative or catch up later on iTunes. We’ll be […]