Insights from Starboard

We are happy to share what we learn, and we do this as workshop instructors, by developing curriculum for the Maine Association of Nonprofits and individual clients, and by offering advice on our Starboard blog. Take a look. You just might find the guidance you need!

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What I want from my board chair

I have the good fortune of facilitating a monthly conversation with a group of first-time and relatively new nonprofit executive directors. After the first meeting, I asked them to identify topics on which we could focus future discussion. Not surprisingly (at least to me), the top choice was “the board and executive director relationship—effective relationships …
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Board Leadership Turnover and Succession

One of the major issues facing nonprofit boards is the burnout of key members and leaders, which is often a byproduct of a lack of board development and leadership succession. While most boards understand the inherent risks that overdependence on key members can create, they nevertheless continue to struggle with doing anything about it and, …
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Translating the Strategic Plan into an Action Plan

After investing significant amounts of time and money developing a strategic plan, nonprofits often struggle with “operationalizing” their plans, squandering opportunities the planning process has created and rendering a low return on the time and resources they’ve invested. In order to successfully turn your strategies into actions, think of the plan as a multi-layered process …
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Why you need a transition committee AND a search committee

Searching for a new leader and ensuring a smooth transition from one leader to the next are two different things. While some search committees end-up being called the “transition committee,” and may even find that their work extends beyond the search, we recommend nonprofit boards consider having one committee for the search and a separate …
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Start Your CEO Succession Planning with an Easy Conversation

While most nonprofit board members appreciate that one of their core responsibilities is, as they often put it, to “hire and fire” the chief executive, they usually work very hard to avoid doing either. Leadership transitions can be traumatic moments for organizations, especially if they aren’t carefully planned. Yet, when I ask board members if …
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Building a Strong Board Chair/Executive Director Partnership

No relationship is more important to the health of your nonprofit than the one between the Board Chair and the Executive Director, as each plays a critical role in your organization’s ability to engage its stakeholders and meet its mission. As a result, it is essential that your board and staff leaders view their relationship …
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