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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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 really benefit from discussion …
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Making the Case for Term Limits for Nonprofit Board Members

Throughout my career I have remained unyielding in my support for term limits on nonprofit boards. With that said, I appreciate why instituting them (or even discussing them) is so hard to do. The prospect of losing one or two of your very best board members and launching a recruitment process to replace them can …
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Board Diversity Is Important and Possible (even in Maine)

With a population nearly 95 percent white, Maine ranks last in the nation for racial and ethnic diversity, so perhaps it’s no wonder that many nonprofit leaders regard diversifying their boards as the impossible dream. But is it? Maine’s non-white population rose 37 percent between 2000 and 2010, and recent immigration trends suggest the next …
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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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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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