How Effective is your Board?

 

Adrianne DuMond

Author: Adrianne DuMond

Executive Coaches of Orange County

www.ECofOC.org

 As an Executive Director, do you sometimes ask yourself what is the purpose of the Board of Directors? Are they just for fundraising – or maybe just influential leaders in the community, or supporters of my mission? Am I utilizing their talents wisely? Does the Board feel valued and involved? As a Board member, do you ask how you could help more – be more involved?

 All of these questions have to do with the governance of an agency. When I was first introduced to the concept of governance, I asked — what does that mean – governance. When I did some research, and was serving on a gambling problems Board of Directors, I realized how important the concept is to having an effective agency.

 The Importance of Governance

For a Board of Directors, governance stands for oversight of the policies and practices that govern an agency. The Board of Directors shares a critical role in the delivery of those policies and practices. Governance includes actions like:

  • Review and approval of the organization’s mission and strategic direction;
  • Hiring, oversight, and annual performance evaluation of the chief executive;
  • Educating Board members on the organization’s legal and ethical responsibilities;
  • Evaluating their own performance (commitment, involvement) as a group and as individuals no less than every 3 years;
  • Review of organizational and governing instruments (e.g., By-laws, Personnel Policy manuals, Performance Review forms) no less frequently than every 5 years.

 There are many sources of information on line concerning these topics. I recommend the web site blueavocado.org as a place to start as they specifically address non-profit organizations.

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