Many nonprofit organizations fail to maximize the potential contributions their boards can make to advance their missions. This frustrates both board members and chief executives. It does not have to be this way. Successful organizations are those that have learned how to mobilize a board, how to define its role productively, according to organizational needs and board members’ talents and interests, and how to produce results everyone can point to with pride.
We will use a structured board development process to help your board become your organization's greatest asset. We can also provide consultation and facilitation services for executives and board members experiencing conflicts, misunderstandings, or other roadblocks that can hamper the organization's ability to advance its mission.
Board building is not a simple one time activity, but is a continuous cycle of self-reflection and self improvement. The board plays a significant role in determining the future vision and strategy for achieving the organization's mission. A well selected, oriented, motivated and trained board will help an organization have greater community impact. La Piana Consulting employs various approaches in growing a board's effectiveness. Board self-assessments, a range of training and support modules are excellent learning processes to further board skills and cohesiveness.
Nonprofit governance is one of the most complex topics one could try to address. Differing models have lead to a range of practices within the sector. Over 20 years of experience has led us to believe that the place to begin is to define the Board of Directors’ role. We believe that the role of the board is to:
1. To define, protect, and advance the mission of the organization
- Mission vs. “what we do”
- What business are we in?
- Who do we serve?
- What value do we bring to the community?
2. To safeguard the assets (human, financial and property) of the organization
- The fiduciary responsibility of the board
- Prevent self-dealing transactions by board members
- Conflict of interest by a board member
3. To recruit, hire, support, review and, if necessary, remove the executive director
- The relationship of the board to the executive
- Who is the boss?
- Governance vs. management
- The special relationship of the board chair and the executive director
4. To be ambassadors to the world on behalf of the organization
- Talking up the organization
- Abiding by the decisions of the board
- Keeping the organization in the front of your mind
5. To ensure adequate resources to carry out the mission
- Give, get or get off
- 100% board giving
- Seeking funds from others