Friday, June 8, 2007

Sector Priorities-Board Roles

Our individual nonprofits act on mission-based priorities every day. Do similar priorities exist for the sector itself and, if so, what might they be?

No official “nonprofit priorities” list governing the sector exists. However, a 2006 gathering of practitioners, the Nonprofit Congress, yielded both rich conversations about their work and consensus about three broad priorities for the health of the sector.

The delegate-identified focus areas were:

• Nonprofit organizational effectiveness
• Advocacy and grassroots community activities
• Public awareness and support of the sector

They also identified an overarching goal within each priority, representing greatest potential for advancing the sector.

I’ve been pondering those priorities since the Nonprofit Congress announced them in its post-meeting report. Since board work has become the lens through which I view most topics lately, that focus has turned to identifying the governing body’s role in achieving them. In coming entries, I’ll share some of my ideas about board leadership for each priority area.

In the meantime, I’ll offer links to portions of the Nonprofit Congress website. For the Congress home page, click here. For the list of priorities and a brief description of each, click here. To access a copy of the meeting highlights, including notes from the conversations leading to the priority list, click here.

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