Insights from Starboard: Advisory Councils

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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Reviving and Reconstituting Your Advisory Council

In our consulting practice we often work with advisory councils. In one case, we worked with an advisory council that had been in existence for over a decade. Where they once played an especially active role in the organization, they were finding they were in more of a “responsive” role. “Responsive” seemed like a better …
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Staffing an advisory council – words of warning

We knew an executive director of a nonprofit who did a time study (tracking her time by 10 minute intervals) that showed 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 we …
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Ingredients of a Successful Advisory Council

In our consulting practice we are often working with organizations that have an advisory council, or are considering one, so we’ve developed what we see as a list of essential ingredients for a successful advisory council: Clearly delineate what level of responsibility and authority the advisory council has It’s important to be clear, right from …
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What if someone else chooses your advisory council members?

Sometimes advisory council members are selected by someone outside of your organization–a political appointment, for example. We worked with one organization that would simply throw-up its hands and say, “We have to take what we get.” While it may be true that the ultimate decision rests elsewhere, we think it is a mistake not to …
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Are You Ready for Advice From an Advisory Council?

The name “advisory council” suggests there will be advice offered. While the intention may be that the advisory council is offering advice to the board of directors, be sure the board truly wants the advice and is ready to respond. Advisory councils to which no one is really listening can leave the participants feeling empty …
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