Across America nonprofit boards get a grade of B-. Not bad in my opinion, but there is always room for improvement. BoardSource’s survey Leading with Intent: A National Index of Nonprofit Board Practices in 2015 revealed six key findings and the sector’s letter grade.
- Boards demonstrate room for improvement. The study found that boards are better at financial oversight and compliance. Where they can grow is strategy work and community outreach. (Not sure where to start on this, contact PCNRC and we can help you.)
- Board members need to speak out more. One of the 10 Basic Responsibilities of Nonprofit Boards is to enhance the organization’s public standing. It is crucial to engage in community outreach and advocacy.
- Board diversity is increasing but gaps persist. BoardSource research shows that boards are shrinking in size and thus recommend to build the board carefully. Increasing diversity (gender, age, profession, skill sets, etc.) will make your board stronger.
- Best-in-class boards pay attention to culture and dynamics. A strong leadership culture creates an effective and productive board.
- Board members need to embrace their roles as fundraisers. Unfortunately, “fundraising remains [to be] the [greatest] weakness of nonprofit board.” Don’t dismay – with knowledge comes power (and solutions). Boards can choose to seek training to help improve upon their fundraising skills. For example, the Barbara Burt Leadership Fund.
- Finding financial stability amid constant change requires strategic leadership. With demographic, economic, and political forces, our society and sector is always changing. Strong and strategic leadership is vital to continue successfully.
The 2016 Leading with Intent survey is now open. You can participate by clicking here.