CATEGORY

Governance

How to Ensure the Legality of Virtual Board Meetings

Today, many charities are unable or unwilling to hold board meetings or membership meetings in person due to the pandemic and social distancing requirements and are considering, perhaps for the first time, holding their meetings electronically. In between the complexity of mastering Zoom and figuring out the most flattering lighting, many may not realize that their organization’s articles or bylaws do not permit virtual meetings. 

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diversify your board
Governance

Diversify Your Nonprofit Board

While nonprofits may have a much different endgame in mind than their corporate counterparts, they can glean many benefits by incorporating a more diverse cadre of community members on their board rosters.  The fresh perspectives and experiences that new and different members bring to the table result in organizations that are more nimble, effective, and ultimately better equipped to carry out their mission.

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9 Tenets of Fiduciary Duty as a Board Member

Fiduciary duties, as codified in state law, board bylaws, and common practice, are quite simply a set of rules to ensure that boards are run effectively, lawfully, and with the best interests of their mission in mind.  Here, we’ll look beyond the legal jargon to distill the legal and ethical responsibilities of board members to oversee the management of and ensure accountability to your nonprofit organization. 

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Strategies for Handling a Difficult Board Member

Think back to the last time you had to (or at least wanted to) confront your boss about micromanaging your work. Now imagine having ten bosses instead of one. You’ve just stepped into the shoes of your nonprofit’s executive director. While we might all like to cast aside the possibility of an overreaching board member in our organizations, even the most well run nonprofit boards will deal with difficult board members at some point. Boards are full of, well, humans, who have a unique set of personal experiences, emotions, and motivations that influence on their job as a director. Sometimes, that can lead to conflict that is uncomfortable, unproductive, and even contrary to the organization’s best interests. 

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The Pitfalls of Delegation (and how to avoid them)

Delegating activities to committees and other qualified individuals can be helpful for nonprofit boards that are short on the time or expertise needed to carry out certain functions. For example, nonprofit boards typically delegate the day to day management of the organization to officers such as the C.E.O./Executive Director. Boards also delegate specific tasks to committees who can devote more time to particular matters.

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Best Practices for Taking Board Meeting Minutes

Meeting minutes need to record the proceedings in a way that is simple, unambiguous, and accurately reflects the wishes and actions of the Board. A simple rule of thumb is that minutes should contain enough detail to reflect the steps that the Board took and any critical discussions that took place. Well drafted minutes are essential evidence that the directors fulfilled their fiduciary duties. 

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Setting up Nonprofit Board Committees for Maximum Effect

The need for committees and which types will vary based on your organization’s age, size, and activities.  Newer organizations may be able to get by with a small working board and few or no committees, while large and established nonprofits would be hamstrung without the robust use of committees. 

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Can Your Nonprofit Board Vote by Email?

Technology now offers businesses and boards many advantages, including the ability to meet via teleconference, video conference, or even conduct discussion and voting via electronic communications, such as email.  But while email is commonplace among many organizations for its ease of use, especially for busy and geographically diverse volunteers sitting on nonprofit boards, there are several reasons to think twice before using email for your next important nonprofit board vote. 

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