Great Boards for Small Groups: A 1-hour Guide to Governing a Growing Nonprofit

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Emerson & Church, Publishers, 2006 - Business & Economics - 110 pages
Yours is a good board, but you want it to be better.-You want clearly defined objectives ?-Meetings with more focus ? -Broader participation in fundraising ?-And more follow-through between meetings.You want these and a dozen other tangibles and intangibles that will propel your board from good to great.Say hello to your guide, Andy Robinson, who has a real knack for offering ?forehead-slapping? solutions ? ?Of course! Why haven?t we been doing this??Take what he says about written agreements among board members. ?Any meaningful job description must be reciprocal: it defines what is expected of you, but also what you can expect in return.? Example: ?I accept fiduciary responsibility for the organization and will oversee its financial health and integrity. By the same token, I expect timely, accurate, and complete financial statements to be distributed at least quarterly, one week in advance of the relevant board meeting.?In other words, the board knows what to expect; the staff knows what to do. Each is accountable.Simple, right? So why does the 10-item sample agreement Robinson provides seem so revolutionary? Perhaps because so few people have tried an agreement like this.Then there?s what the author calls the ?Fundraising Menu.? Here, board members are asked to generate a list of all the ways (direct and indirect) they could assist in fundraising. The list is prioritized and then used to help each trustee prepare a personalized fundraising agreement that meets his or her specific needs, interests, and limitations.Again, simple, but it?s the closest thing you?ll find to guaranteeing a board?s commitment to raising money.Toward the end of his book, in a number of ?How to Fix It? chapters, Robinson homes in on specific problems, such as poorly attended meetings, spotty follow-through on commitments, inactive board members, narrow consensus, conflicts of interest, weak agendas, and much more. And Robinson doesn?t offer up easy nostrums. Quite the opposite. Over the past 20 years, as a board member, a volunteer, and a consultant, he?s put into practice what he preaches and stands unshakably behind his fog-burning advice. Great Boards for Small Groups contains 31 brief chapters. In fact the whole book can be read in an hour. Funny thing, though, its impact on those who heed its advice will last for years.

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Your best board
How governance
The separation of powers
Why did they ask me?
Can I see a job description?
What you
How much is enough?
Designing your best board
Where do board members come from?
How do we ask them to join our board?
Good work that never ends
Five options for board orientation
The value of term limits
How to create a great agenda and then
Building consensus

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About the author (2006)

Andy Robinson is most recently author of Big Gifts for Small Groups: A Board Member's 1-Hour Guide of Securing Gifts of $500 to $5,000, published by Emerson & Church. Robinson has been raising money for social change since 1980. As a trainer and consultant, he has assisted nonprofits in 40 states and Canada, leading workshops on fundraising, grantseeking, board develoment, strategic planning, marketing, leadership development, and earned income strategies.

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