Friday, September 2, 2016

Governance toolbox: Inspiration, evaluation and risk for nonprofit boards

Here are the links and tools that most inspired me this week:

Because of IU -- I've been talking a lot off and on here about the value of board member storytelling, especially when the stories being told are connected to their mission motivations. This set of board member videos feature Indiana University Foundation board members exemplifies one version of that perfectly.  One thing I will say before you click: don't be intimidated by the professionalism of the finished product. Listen to their brief messages. That's what's important, not how you capture them. With a video-capable phone or camera and a mic, you have the essential elements for capturing your board members' stories. Upload them to YouTube, as the IU Foundation did, and they always are for sharing with your stakeholders.

Self-assessments for nonprofit boards -- I'm having a little bit of a deja vu moment. But if I've already shared this National Council of Nonprofits resource, it's worthy of another round. The value of self-assessment for the board as a whole and individual members is immense when done right. The NCN provides links to tools for launching that process.

Nine characteristics of a good board self-evaluation program -- While we're on the topic... This post by Leigh Wintz, published on the Canadian Society of Association Executives blog, complements the previous link. It's more of a narrative providing context for self-evaluation, which you may find useful as you make the case to your board.

The five major risks all charity board members need to think about -- This one is more discussion focal point than tool, but it's a discussions that boards should be having on a regular basis. The premise - and ultimate value - is made clear in the headline: five common areas of risk that nonprofit organizations face. What they look like, and which are more likely to become problematic for your organization, will vary for a variety of factors (including, but not limited to, mission area, community context and political environment). What are the major risks facing your nonprofit? How do/will you  attempt to reduce their potential impact and, when unavoidable, deal with the consequences?

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