Nonprofit board service is not to be taken lightly. The responsibilities of a board member start at attending regular meetings and include contributing financially, raising money, advocating for the mission, and serving on the governing body of the organization. Board service is one of the biggest responsibilities a volunteer can take on.
On the other side, managing a board takes next-level people skills. Executive directors and CEOs are in the weird space of managing the people who hire them, keeping them informed on the nonprofit’s status, and helping them connect to the mission, each other, and have a fulfilling volunteer experience.
With more than 6,000 nonprofits in Central Texas and with each required to have at least three board members, you can see how there are at least 18,000 people who have served on a nonprofit board at one point (Yes, there are redundancies, but most nonprofits have more than three board members, so it’s a good number to start with.) What are the resources out there for boards and board members to do what they do better?
Many board members start with Mission Capital’s Board Essentials class, a half-day training that gives an overview of basic board responsibilities. The class is open to prospective and current board members, and can really set the bar for board service standards. The class is offered monthly and fills up fast.
As for managing a nonprofit board, consultants from Mission Capital and ACC Center for Nonprofit Studies and independent consultants offer nonprofit leadership and management guidance. Consultants can tailor advice and instruction based on your organization and needs, so they can be a great resource that is worth the investment.
New to the scene are also online board management platforms that can improve communication, track progress, enforce accountability, and more. NXTBoard is an Austin-based platform that can help move a dysfunctional boards to efficacy and solve a lot of the problems executives have in managing board members.
It’s worth noting that The New Philanthropists is a nonprofit on a unique mission to increase diversity and inclusion of Austin nonprofit boards. The organization believes that board make-up should reflect the people they serve, and with an overwhelming number of board members being white, leadership lacks the community connections they need to be effective. It offers assessment and training programs for both nonprofit boards and board member prospects.
What resources are we missing? Please tell us any other resources for better boards by sending us an email or leaving a comment.
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