by Tim Lannan, M.S.O.D.

Nonprofit boards add value as:

  1. Catalyst: Providing leadership in envisioning and creating the future.
    1. Create and ensure continued relevance of the mission.
    2. Establish overall direction and priorities for moving the mission forward and empower the CEO to operationalize them.
  2. Connector: Linking the organization to its external environment.
    1. Ensure appropriate linkages to the organization’s key stakeholders and communities served by the organization.
      1. Understand and balance the diverse needs and interests of those the organization serves.
      2. Ensure ongoing two-way communication with stakeholders.
    2. Ensure continuity, stability, and sustainability of organization.
      1. Remember and appreciate organizational history and accomplishments.
      2. Understand current and emerging challenges and opportunities in the external environment.
      3. Link from past to present to future.
    3. Provide access to funds and other resources.
  3. Custodian: Being the steward of the organization and its resources.
    1. Select, guide, support, and evaluate the CEO.
    2. Ensure legal and financial integrity and organizational accountability.
      1. Ensure that the organization is financially secure and has the resources needed to carry out its work.
      2. Ensure corporate compliance.
    3. Oversee program implementation to ensure that it reflects and advances the mission and goals.
    4. Assure executive performance and appropriate use of organizational resources.

    In addition, the board is responsible for itself and needs to ensure it is:
  4. Capable of providing good governance and fulfilling its obligations.
    • Ensure that the organization is appropriately governed and that the Board fulfills its obligations.
    • Select, recruit, and orient new board and committee members.

© 2003 by Tim Lannan

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