Where to start? What to highlight? There are so many potential governance links to share this week, on a range of topics. Here is a sampling of my many favorites.
Demystifying board service-part 1 (Julia Jackson)
The target audience for this post is younger nonprofit and community leaders, but anyone considering board service - even board vets - would benefit from the counsel Julia offers in this post. It expands our potential capacity to be more deliberate, thoughtful, and prepared as we assume the leadership responsibilities that come with this critical volunteer job.
Acceptance of board position sample (Gayle Gifford)
Gayle continues the early commitment theme with this direct link to a sample board service contract. I appreciate her sharing both a quality example of a board document (It helps us get past the blank-screen, "where to I start?" paralysis that adds to the challenge of encouraging boards to implement these important practices.) and a reminder that reinforcing the commitment made can only be a good thing. Clarity about all expectations, whatever they may be for your board, would be handled in the recruitment process. Having a brief, formal process for accepting those responsibilities reinforces the commitment being made.
Four things boards should understand about operating reserves (Rick Moyers)
The topic begs for more detail. Boards often struggle with grasping most aspects of their fiduciary responsibilities. But this post provides a service by simply raising four focal points for understanding operating reserves in a nonprofit setting. For those board members who simply don't know what to ask, he has resolved half the battle.
Three instant improvements for board agendas and accountability (Jan Masaoka)
The simplicity of Jan's "instant improvements" screams "no brainers." But in the case of organizing board meetings, small things can create significant focus and transformation of governance work.
3 critical mistakes made by nonprofit executive directors (Sandy Rees)
The topic of Sandy's post may not seem to have direct impact on board work. But the board/ED leadership team is a partnership. Board members who are attuned to the executive's challenges, and some of the common pitfalls of the position, can support the CEO and encourage him/her make good professional choices.