Insights from Starboard: Board Governance

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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Succession Strategies for Board Leadership

I recently met with an executive director of a nonprofit who told me, “My board chair and my treasurer are both ‘interim’.” When I asked the E.D. what that meant, the reply was: “Neither of them wants to continue as officers, but no one else from the board will take their places.” I wish I …
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Building Board Leaders Requires a Process

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 burnout. It’s …
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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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6 Benefits to Term Limits for Nonprofit Board Members

In Maine, when you mention “term limits” people automatically think of the legislative term limits adopted 20 years ago through referendum. More often than not, you’ll also hear some grumbling about the failure of term limits to improve the legislative process and why frequent turnover is not always a good thing. Despite this, I have …
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Preparing for the Board Chair Role: Opportunities & Challenges

The Governance Affinity Group of the Alliance for Nonprofit Management recently published a report based on its survey of 635 nonprofit board chairs from across the country. As one of the few studies done specifically with board chairs, it sought to answer two research questions: “How do individuals prepare for their role as chair of …
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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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