Resources - Leadership/Governance

8 Characteristics of an Outstanding Board Member

It's all about passion! Jay Love, Co-Founder & CEO of The Bloomerang, shares his insights on eight characteristics or an outstanding board member, https://bloomerang.co/blog/8-characteristics-of-an-outstanding-board-member/

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Alternatives to Strategic Planning

If the idea of creating a strategic plan seems overwhelming this article from blue avocado provides some alternative methods for making decisions and moving forward, http://www.blueavocado.org/content/alternatives-strategic-planning.

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Assessment Tool Specific for Friends

Organizational assessment tool that has been designed specifically for Friends organization. Grab a pencil and take this assessment. This organizational assessment tool is a learning instrument to help you understand where you organization stands in critical areas of organizational infrastructure and functioning.

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Audit Guide for Small Nonprofit Organizations

Audit Guide for Audit Committees of Small Nonprofit Organizations is a free resource provided by the Virginia Society of Certified Public Accountants.

8-page. PDF, 295KB

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Audit Worksheet of Financial Records

An Audit Worksheet for small nonprofits to review financial records.

5-page, PDF, 1.2 MB

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Avoiding Personal Liability
BoardSource provides practical guidance to board members understanding their responsibilities and the adequate protections they need to take.
 
2-page, PDF, 1.1 MB
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Board Assessment: 10 Minute Board Exercise to conduct Assessment

Conduct an annual board assessment to hone your board's attention and energy.  An assessment helps board members gain a common understanding and discover characteristics of powerful boards. This process helps define the board's unique culture and strengths while addressing any weaknesses. Follow this link to the 10 minute exercise to assess your board, https://4good.org/the-center-for-nonprofit-stewardship-library/10-minute-board-exercise-for-conducting-a-board-assessment

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Board Matrix Worksheet

BoardSource has created a matrix to help you determine your board's current skills and assets along with any gaps. This is a great tool for identifying the skill set you are looking for in future board members.

Excel spreadsheet, 16 KB

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Board Member Position Description

Sample board member position description from the Ottawa National Wildlife Refuge Association, http://refugefriendsconnect.org/wp-content/uploads/2015/02/Board-Member-Position-Description-1.doc

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Board Member Self-Assessment

Is it time to evaluate your board skills? This is a one-page tool to assess your knowledge, participation, time commitment, and constraints.

1-page, word doc, 66 KB

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Board Officer Position Descriptions

Sample board officer position description from the Ottawa National Wildlife Refuge Association, http://refugefriendsconnect.org/wp-content/uploads/2015/02/ONWRA-board-officer-position-descriptions.doc

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Board Recruitment Handbook

Board Recruitment Handbook from the Center for Nonprofit Excellence.

The toolkit contains:
PowerPoint Presentation
Facilitator's Guide
FAQ - Frequently Asked Questions
New Member Recruitment & Orientation
Assessment
Action Plan Worksheet

To access this materials go to https://4good.org/susie-polnaszek/new-member-recruitment-orientation-board-transformation-toolkit

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Board Roles & Responsibilities

Guide to Board Roles & Responsibilities from the Center for Nonprofit Excellence.

The toolkit contains:
PowerPoint Presentation
Facilitator's Guide
FAQ - Frequently Asked Questions
Handouts
Assessment
Action Plan Worksheet

To access this materials go to https://4good.org/susie-polnaszek/guide-to-board-roles-responsibilities-board-transformation-toolkit?utm_source=4Good.org+-+Knowledge+Sites&utm_campaign=96db51397d-4Good_Friday_03_07_14&utm_medium=email&utm_term=0_7dc46f4ba6-96db51397d-401886369

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Budget timeline for the Refuge System

The budget timeline for the Refuge System has been diagrammed by the National Wildlife Refuge Association.This timeline illustrates the Fish and Wildlife Service and Department of the Interior budget process along with potential Congressional actions.

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Building Your Nest Egg

An Introduction to Raising Funds for National Wildlife Refuge Support Groups

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Charity & Nonprofit Board Service in Washington State

While written for nonprofit board service in Washington state this guide offers board members everywhere valuable help in understanding their responsibilities as stewards of their organizations.

12 -page, PDF, 1.2MB

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Checklist of Board Roles and Responsibilities

Understanding the board roles and responsibilities is key to a successful organization. BoardSource has created a one-page checklist so boards can remind themselves of their responsibilities.

1-page PDF, 74KB

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Committee Descriptions

Sample committee description provided by Ottawa National Wildlife Refuge Association, http://refugefriendsconnect.org/wp-content/uploads/2015/02/ONWRA-Committee-Descriptions-6.14.doc

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Compliance Guide for 501(c)(3) Public Charities

48-page IRS publication that provides comprehensive guidance on compliance.

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Four Ways to Remove a Board Member

On rare occasions a board member needs to be removed for disruptive, destructive or demoralizing behavior. This Blue Avocado article offers four ways to accomplish this task.

3-pages, PDF, 213 KB

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Governance Policiies - Sample

Sample Governance Policies provided by the Ottawa National Wildlife Refuge Association, http://refugefriendsconnect.org/wp-content/uploads/2015/02/governance-policies-adopted-7.13.doc

 

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Guidebook for Boards of Directors

The guidebook is meant as a checklist of matters for you to consider and questions for you to ask as a nonprofit board member. Sprinkled throughout the book are pointers describing “good practices” for nonprofit boards, along with examples drawn from the experiences of other nonprofits. Often this guidebook will urge you to adopt formalities that you might find excessive.

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Improving Board Member Participation

Two-page word document addressing how to get new board members involved.

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Leadership Development and Succession

Are you prepared for the coming shift in generational leadership as some Friends members re-retire and new leaders emerge. The National Council of Nonprofits has an informative webpage that addresses:

  • Leadership Succession Planning
  • Emergency Succession Planning
  • Planned Leadership Succession

This site is well worth the look, http://www.councilofnonprofits.org/resources/leadership-development-and-succession.

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Maintaining Your Nonprofit's 501(c)(3) Tax-Exempt Status

A 60-minute webinar from 4Good addressing how to maintain your tax-exempt status.

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Meeting Minutes Template

A meeting minutes template for note taking, recording decisions, follow up items and other info. It may be customized and filled in electronically if desired.

 
Excel spreadsheet, 49 KB
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Nine Keys for Reinvigorating Board Leadership

Reinvigorate you current board members with these nine practical steps. Just click on download for this article from IdeaEncore.

1-page, PDF, 78 KB

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Nonprofit Boards & Effective Governance

4GOOD's webinar on a comprehensive range of concerns for nonprofit boards. The take-aways from this one hour webinar are:

  • How to assemble an effective board
  • How to structure and operate a board effectively
  • How to engage trustees (board members) and increase mutual satisfaction
  • Specific tools and resources that will increase board effectiveness.

To access the webinar go to https://4good.org/sam-frank/webinar-nonprofit-boards-effective-governance#asset-8328 and then scroll down and click on Screenshot 2014-10-03 10.09.20

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Nonprofit Risk Management Center

The National Wildlife Refuge Association has joined the Nonprofit Risk Management Center (NRMC) as an Affiliate Member to help Friends groups manage their risk and understand their insurance needs. The NRMC specializes in providing risk management tools, advice, and materials to thousands of nonprofit organizations across the country. The NRMC’s Affiliate Membership program entitles affiliates of the National Wildlife Refuge Association to practical risk management resources, including more than 100 informational webinars and the NRMC's Risk Help service.

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Overview of Insurance for Friends Groups

The National Wildlife Refuge Association receives numerous requests for information on insurance coverage. The following is intended to outline the types of insurance available to protect against the various risks confronting the Friends group community and to serve as a starting point for exploring and answering those questions.

8-page, PDF, 135 KB

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Recruiting Board Members

Do you have a board member recruitment process in place? BoardSource has a topic paper that discusses the components of a strong recruitment process. To download this paper click here

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Sample Conflict of Interest Policy

Sample Conflict of Interest Policy.

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Sample Document Retention Policy

A sample policy that outlines how organizations should manage documents.

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Sample Executive Compensation and Review Policy

Sample Executive Compensation and Review Policy.

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Sample Whistleblower Policy

Two-page word document that is a sample Whistleblower Policy.

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Steps to Evaluating the Work of the Board

Center for Nonprofit Excellence has Board Transformation Toolkits for board members to learn new skills, reflect on their strengths and plan steps to become even stronger.

The  toolkit contains:
Evaluating the Work of the Board
Facilitator's Guide
FAQ - Frequently Asked Questions
Handouts
Assessments
Action Plan Worksheet

To access this resource go to https://4good.org/susie-polnaszek/steps-to-evaluating-the-work-of-the-board-board-transformation-toolkit

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Taking Flight

The COMPLETE guide to starting and sustaining a Friends Group!

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The Governance Series

BoardSource's offers a series to help board members, chief executives, and senior staff understand the fundamental elements of service common to most boards for 20+ years. The second edition of the series is now available in PDF. Purchase the six books now.

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Top 10 Non-profit Governance Mistakes (From a Lawyer's Perspective)

Ellis Carter is a lawyer who exclusively represents tax-exempt organizations, she has summarized some of the most common governance problems, from a lawyer's perspective, here.

This work is from 4Good and licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 United States License.

3-page, Word Doc, 37 KB

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Where and When should your board meet?

Wondering about where to hold your board meetings? GuideStar offers advice on where to hold your board meetings, their advice might surprise you. To access this blog go to http://trust.guidestar.org/2015/08/11/board-recruiting-best-practices-where-and-when-should-your-board-meet/

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Editor's Choice