Boards of Directors

Improve Board Member Engagement by Defining the Role

Nonprofit boards of directors consist of people who are successful, care about the organization, and are often passionate about the mission. Yet, both board members and executive directors often lament that the board is not as engaged and as useful as it could be. To change that situation in your board, start by asking yourself whether you have defined the expectations of the position.

Assess—Don’t Simply Term Limit—the Board of Directors

Should you limit how long someone can remain on your nonprofit board of directors? In William Meehan and Kim Starkey Jonker’s 2017 book Engine of Impact, the authors rightly address this question in the context of board member assessment. That is, term limits are really a way for an organization to shed itself of poor performing board members while side-stepping board evaluations. But requiring board member removal means losing benefits that long-standing board members can bring.

What History Says About Nonprofit Board Roles

We’ve been wrestling with the functions of nonprofit boards ever since the start of the American experiment. That historical view provides a valuable lens for considering what responsibilities should be expected of today’s nonprofit boards of directors. And starting with a historical look is a fitting kick-off to this new blog, which seeks to distill scholars’ research into quick and useful lessons for nonprofit practitioners.