Workshop Topics

We’re a CBO!

  • What does “nonprofit” really mean?
  • Three (interactive) sectors (public; private; community benefit)
  • Can a “nonprofit” make a profit?
  • Who “owns” the community benefit organization (CBO)?
  • Why are community benefit agencies tax-exempt?
  • Distinctions between community benefit and for-profit corporations: where does the profit go?
  • The Mission/Money Matrix
  • To whom (or what) are community benefit organizations accountable?

Your Best Board Meeting. Ever!

  • Board meetings or “bored” meetings?
  • An emphasis on the past, present or future?
  • Purpose & frequency
  • Agenda (development of; number of items; link to strategic plan)
  • Minutes
  • Zero-based verbal reports
  • The action-info axis
  • Consent Agenda
  • Robert’s Rules or Roberta’s Rules?

What Do Great Boards (and Board Members) Do?

  • What is governance?
  • What is peak-performing governance?
  • What does “fiduciary” really mean?
  • Why do community benefit organizations have boards?
  • What are the legal responsibilities of board members?
  • What is the fundamental distinction between governance and management?
  • The board acts as a whole; the board speaks with one voice; the board (mostly) focuses on ends; the board has one employee (from Policy Governance)
  • The Good Governance Spectrum
  • “Governing in Three Modes”
  • What do peak-performing boards NOT do?
  • What is Servant Leadership?
  • What do peak-performing boards NOT do?

Nurturing a Powerful & Productive Board / CEO Relationship

  • What’s a syllabus? What makes a great teacher?
  • A mutually supportive partnership: CEO of the Year. Every year! Board of the Year. Every  year!
  • What’s in a title?
  • The board has one employee
  • Who evaluates? The role of the CEO Support Committee
  • Prerequisites for an effective CEO support program: vision, mission, values and plan
  • The CEO’s annual goals (development of; monitoring; revising)
  • The importance of constant feedback (formal and informal)
  • The regularly scheduled CEO/Board Chair phone call
  • CEO self-assessment
  • Formative and summative evaluation
  • Pay for performance
  • The Annual Performance Appraisal: the “no surprise” philosophy
  • The CEO and the staff

Recruiting and Retaining the Peak-Performing Board

  • What’s the most important standing committee of the board?
  • “The Board Building Cycle” (BoardSource)
  • What’s the single most accurate predictor for success of the new board member
  • Attributes of an ideal board member
  • But what about skills?
  • Where do we find committed board members?
  • How long does the process take?
  • What does a board member job description look like?
  • Why do “Term Limits” matter?
  • How --- and why --- do we orient and mentor new board members?
  • What goes into the Board Manual?
  • How --- and why --- do we assess the performance of our board-as-a-whole AND individual board members?

Strategic Thinking for Boards

  • What’s a Vision?
  • What’s a Mission?
  • What’s a Values Statement?
  • Who's responsible for Strategy?
  • Board and staff – respective roles in planning
  • Implementing, monitoring, updating

Effective Board Committees

  • Standing & ad hoc committees: what’s the difference?
  • Relationship between committees and the full board
  • The Executive Committee: should we have one?
  • What are the most important standing committees


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