Joining a Nonprofit Board: What You Need to Know

Joining a Nonprofit Board: What You Need to Know

Marc J. Epstein

Language: English

Pages: 224

ISBN: 0470931256

Format: PDF / Kindle (mobi) / ePub


Praise for Joining a Nonprofit Board

""As an individual who has served on various nonprofit boards, and as the president and CEO of a large nonprofit organization, I can attest to how valuable this book is. Marc Epstein and Warren McFarlan offer insight into the expectations of nonprofit board members, which is extraordinarily beneficial to individuals considering their first nonprofit board and to seasoned professionals already serving on boards." —Gail McGovern, President and CEO, American Red Cross
Excerpted from Foreword"

"This book is a roadmap for the business person who wants to serve on a nonprofit board, and unwittingly assumes that the approaches that worked so well in the for-profit world can be seamlessly extrapolated to the nonprofit board room." —Roseanna H. Means, M.D., founder and president, Women of Means

"A must-read for all new and existing nonprofit board members. It is full of practical advice that will help improve the effectiveness of nonprofit board members and the organizations they serve." —Roger Servison, president emeritus, Boston Museum of Fine Arts, and vice chairman, Boston Symphony Orchestra

"What a powerful tool now available for anyone involved with governance of America's nonprofit enterprises. The analysis is cogent and concise, amply supported by real-life examples." —George B. Beitzel, chairman emeritus, Amherst College, and chairman emeritus, Colonial Williamsburg Foundation

"Joining a Nonprofit Board offers practical advice in complementing your business experience with the nuances of nonprofit governance, performance, and management in order to fully achieve the societal mission." —Jeffrey C. Thomson, president and CEO, Institute of Management Accountants

"This book will guide you through the differences between for-profit and nonprofit organizations (and boards). It will help you navigate through all the nuances in which nonprofit organizations actually operate on a day-to-day basis."—Elaine Ullian, former president, Boston Medical Center

"Joining a Nonprofit Board is a must-read. This book should be required reading and distributed at the opening board meeting." —Agnes C. Underwood, former head, Garrison Forest School and National Cathedral School; vice president/managing associate, Carney, Sandoe and Associates

"A Board needs a unifying and visionary objective—'It must be World Class.' This book successfully shows how to create a World Class Board." —W. Richard Bingham, former chairman, California Academy of Sciences

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AARP Foundation, which administers various charitable programs and legal services for older Americans, including those who are not members of AARP.3 The AARP Foundation measures its performance using four perspectives: (1) “Resources and Stewardship,” to reflect the Foundation's status and associated standards; (2) “People” perspective, (3) “Social Impact and Value,” capturing the organization's focus on promoting social change and adding value to the lives of older Americans; and (4)

evening, but they will take the alumni magazine. Invitation to special events. These events are well staffed by appropriate people including trustees, long-term supporters of the organization, and relevant professional staff and are built around substantive activities like lectures, exhibitions, and so on. The task of the event is to excite the participants’ interest in the organization and identify those to follow up with. It is truly amazing what can be learned in a cocktail conversation.

This is a murky area, because sometimes a sensitive situation occurs which can be averted without involving the full board. Indeed, getting the broader group involved may make the incident a self-fulfilling event. This was the thinking used by a college board chair when the president first told him that he was thinking of resigning and going to a competitor. The chair only involved one other member in the discussion to try to keep the news contained. He feared a broad-based discussion would

brief overview here. As a new trustee your single most important task in the first year is to internalize the full breadth and complexity of the organization's mission and assess how well you think the organization is working toward achieving it. In the for-profit world, an economist would argue that the main objective and mission of an organization is through the provision of goods and services to earn an appropriate return on invested capital for its shareholders. The organization, of course,

often complemented by a balanced scorecard or dashboard approach. The reality, however, is that negative variances just do not have the same impact on internal and external perceptions of performance as a missed EPS number does for the for-profit. Beyond all of this, of course, is the need to peer around the corner and look toward the long-term future challenges to the organization (sometimes five to ten years in the future). IV. Governance Best practice in governance has been changing for both

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