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Valuable Resources for Board Governance


Running a nonprofit board can come with a number of challenges — some unique to nonprofits, some that simply come with maintaining a board of directors. As leadership navigates the everyday decision-making, establishing of procedures, and even the facilitating of meetings, they will inevitably face crossroads and roadblocks along the way. In these instances, it is helpful to have a bank of knowledge of best practices, creative ways of problem-solving and leadership skills to reference, whether in the beginning stages of establishing a board or a decades-deep in tradition.

Assessing and adjusting your board’s modes of operation is crucial to establishing and maintaining efficiency and propelling the organization forward in their mission.

Below is a list of valuable resources for board governance that can keep your leadership up-to-date on how they can best accomplish their goals in productive and efficient ways.

Council of Nonprofits

– The Council of Nonprofits features a host of helpful articles surrounding the topic of board governance, including diversity, meeting efficiency, and more. Three particularly helpful resources are:

Tip Sheet for Candid Conversations on Board Governance

Annual Board Tune-Up Checklist

Consent Agenda | How the use of consent agenda can increase efficiency in meetings.


– BoardSource is a relevant, useful hub for all things board-related, including a free download of Recommended Board Practices and a blog with up-to-date articles on trends, tips and best practices. BoardSource also hosts a biennial Board Leadership Forum.

Guide for Governance and Ethical Practices, 2015 Edition | Independent Sector

– This free guide is prepared by the Independent Sector, a national membership organization bringing together nonprofits, foundations and corporations to advance the common good. It outlines 33 principles of sound practice for charitable organizations and foundations related to legal compliance and public disclosure, effective governance, financial oversight and responsible fundraising.

Nonprofit Quarterly (Topic: Board Governance)

  – Nonprofit Quarterly is a well-established independent nonprofit news organization and often features articles specifically on the topic of board governance, which can provide timely insight useful for board members and leadership.

Council on Foundations | Boards & Governance

– The Council on Foundations is a nonprofit leadership association of grantmaking foundations and corporations, and among its Boards & Governance resources, it provides tools like tables to enable foundations to benchmark their expenses and other financial statistics.

Board Effect | Resources – Board Governance and How-To’s

– Board Effect is a board portal software company, but they also provide up-to-date insights through the resources on their website, including a section on board governance.

12 Ways to Liven Up Your Board Meetings | Gail Perry

– Gail Perry, MBA, CFRE is an international fundraising consultant, keynote speaker, trainer and philanthropy leader. This resource comes from her site, Fired-Up Fundraising and shares creative ways to make your board meetings more productive and more interesting.

Building Successful Nonprofit Boards | Forbes

– Forbes contributor Elmira Bayrasli shares specific tips on recruiting a successful board and the kinds of people that should be at the table when all is said and done.

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