Board Governance

Board Governance

Essential tools and advice for a more effective nonprofit board

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Build a Board that Provides Real Leadership

Experience has taught us that healthy, successful, and sustainable organizations have engaged, active board members who appreciate their roles and carry out responsibilities appropriately. Core to our mission and central to our vision at Starboard is our commitment to helping organizations and businesses build strong boards of directors. We are known throughout Maine and the country for our expertise in board governance.

In addition to the individual counsel we provide each year to dozens of boards and their leaders, we lead workshops, conduct webinars, and present on governance topics for organizations large and small. Starboard consultants have developed the “Board Boot Camp” curriculum, a board recruitment webinar series for the Maine Association of Nonprofits, authored various governance handbooks, and a board self-assessment tool used nationally.

Explore the Starboard Blog section of our website and our Board Chair Companion, which cover a wide variety of issues that face board leaders, including board self-assessment, meeting strategies, strategic recruitment, working with staff leadership, and evaluations.

Three Steps to Great Governance

1. Assess your board’s strengths & weaknesses.

For boards that are serious about strengthening their governance practices, undertaking a board self-assessment is an ideal way to start. Using an online tool developed by Starboard and now marketed by the Maine Association of Nonprofits, we can help your board assess its strengths and develop strategies to address its weaknesses.

Guided by the assessment results, we will work with you and your board to develop a “board governance agenda” to shape your board’s ongoing development and put in place practices and policies to increase effectiveness.

Is your board ready for self-assessment?

2. Transform through strategic recruitment & engagement.

Identifying, recruiting, and actively engaging board members who can help you advance your strategic priorities can be a real challenge. We can help you develop processes and implement strategies to recruit board members who will bring real value. To ensure lasting, meaningful engagement, we will work with you to help define board member’s roles and responsibilities to advance your organization’s mission.

We also provide counsel on how you can build an effective “board team” that works together to achieve shared goals. Board leaders often call upon Starboard to help develop strategies to manage board dynamics, enhance board and committee meetings, and institute best practices.

3. Keep developing.

The work of building an effective board never ends. Strong boards don’t suddenly emerge from a single workshop or board retreat, and a handbook or stack of “how-to” articles is rarely sufficient to achieve turn-around and sustained efficacy. The best boards and the strongest organizations have a board governance committee that works throughout the year to advance the board’s governance agenda—a “to do” list for making the board more and more effective.

At Starboard, it is not unusual for us to help a board establish a governance committee and then provide ongoing consultation and support as it moves through the initial stages of its work. While we often begin our work by facilitating governance committee meetings and providing proven tools to use, our goal is to build each board’s capacity to continue this work independently in the years ahead.

Let’s Talk

Our clients can count on us to begin every project with a conversation, which helps us understand your unique needs and consider how best to assist you. Call now (207) 992-4406 to begin the conversation and learn more. All initial consultations are free of charge.

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