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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Strategies for a Smooth Succession of Board Leadership

A few years ago I met with an executive director of a nonprofit who told me, “My board chair and my treasurer are both ‘interim’.” When I asked what that meant, the reply was: “Neither wants to continue as an officer, but no one else will do it.” I wish I could say that situation …
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Making Board Leadership Development and Succession a Priority

Any experienced nonprofit CEO will tell you that they can do their jobs more effectively when they have a strong board leadership team with which to partner. Yet many nonprofits struggle to find and nurture strong board leaders, and when they are successful they tend to become overly reliant upon them and risk burning them …
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Be Clear About the “Purpose” Before Launching an Advisory Council

At its best, an advisory council can provide a tremendous benefit to your organization and the pursuit of your mission. At its worst, an advisory council can drain resources, tie staff in knots, generate governance challenges for the board, and transform allies into adversaries. We’ve seen it happen! Building a successful advisory council takes time, …
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What You Name Your Advisory Group Matters

It is important to be clear about the difference between a board of directors (or board of trustees) and an “advisory council,” and it is especially important that the members of your advisory council know the difference. It is not uncommon for advisory council members to want to become engaged in the work of the …
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What YOU should expect from an advisory council

What if you were asked to join an advisory council? What would you want from that experience? What would make it a meaningful experience for you? What would be required in order for you to feel like it was a good use of your time? Take a moment to ask and answer those questions yourself. …
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Making Advisory Council Meetings Meaningful

One of the biggest mistakes organizations make with their advisory councils (and with their boards) is limiting them to a “monitoring” role. They bring well-intentioned volunteers together, fill the meetings with reports on this or that (monitoring), and then wonder why the volunteers don’t seem engaged, have spotty attendance, or descend into micromanaging. Remember, volunteers …
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