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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Keys to Highly Efficient Meetings

Don’t meet to report. Today our most valuable commodity is our time. If you are lucky enough to get people in the same room together, don’t waste their time with reports and updates that could easily be shared in writing before or after the meeting. Instead, focus this valuable face-to-face time on items that can …
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Understanding the Cyclical Nature of Board Behavior

We often talk in workshops and with our clients about the stages that nonprofit boards pass through in their “evolution.” It turns out that those “stages” might be “cycles” that boards are destined to repeat again and again. Even the highest performing boards can struggle to stay at the top of their game, and it …
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Five Internal Controls for the Very Small Nonprofit

Five Internal Controls for the Very Small Nonprofit We love “Blue Avocado” and the nonprofit advice offered there: In this case, we want to recommend to you an article by Carl Ho that suggests some strategies that really small nonprofits can use to protect themselves from financial improprieties. Experience tells us that some of the …
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Staffing an advisory council should not be taken lightly!

We knew an executive director of a nonprofit who did a time study (tracking her time by 10 minute intervals) that showed that she was spending more than 40% of her time on the business of the board—supporting them, preparing for meetings, engaging in board communications, attending meetings of board committees, and so on. While …
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Building Diversity on Your Board or Advisory Council

Many organizations talk a good game when it comes to diversity, but talking about diversity and achieving it are two different things. Too often diversity is that item on the “to do” list that the board talks about but never seems to be able to achieve. Or, perhaps more damaging, diversity is really nothing more …
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Establishing an Effective Advisory Council

We were recently asked to make a brief presentation on how community organizations might begin to think about establishing effective advisory councils. What follows is the text of a one-page handout that we shared with them. Ingredients for a Successful Advisory Committee Appreciate that boards and advisory committees (or advisory boards) are not the same …
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