Does your board have a code of conduct and ethics?

A different perspective – Photo by Anika Huizinga on Unsplash

A conflict of interest policy is standard for most nonprofits, but a code of conduct and ethics lets you go beyond just financial conflicts and look at all aspects of being a board member. This could also be called a board agreement. It lays out basic guidelines for group norms, before you need them. Just like any group where you bring together a group of people who don’t know each other, they need to specify how they are going to work together.

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Why Develop a Contract for your ED?

As an executive director, I had a board that I enjoyed working with, but there were friction points. I now realize that the answer to these was simple, I needed a contract.

The truth is that boards aren’t great employers. The board-ED relationship is always a somewhat awkward one. An ED has 9 or 12 or 15 bosses, who are technically supposed to act together, but in reality they don’t always manage to do that. Plus the board composition changes regularly, so the ED’s relationship with them changes as well.

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Boards on Fire

Feeling challenged by your board? Wish they contributed more? Wish they would tell you what they want? Do you see so many fundraising opportunities but the board says it isn’t their job? Whatever your difficulty is, I highly recommend getting the book Boards on Fire by Susan Howlett. In fact, I would recommend getting copies for every board member, reading it together, and then making real changes in your organization based on the insights that Howlett shares.

Boards on Fire is a quick read, but it contains a wealth of wisdom on how to really engage board members in making the organization successful with a focus on fundraising.

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Cultivating Your Next Board Leaders

Every board needs great leaders, but it takes time to build up a strong board. The best advice I can give you is that you can’t instantly have a good board, as discouraging as that sounds. The good news is that you can develop a board who will make a real difference for your organization.  Here are the steps:

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Upcoming Board Trainings

I’m offered the following two board trainings through the Human Services Federation. If you are interested in a similar training for your board, let me know.

 

HOW TO ENGAGE YOUR BOARD IN FUNDRAISING

November 17th, 12:00 – 1:00  |   Nonprofit Hub
Staff need the help of board members to fundraise. Board members know they should help but don’t know where to start. This workshop is targeted at fundraising staff, executive directors and board chairs, and will give you practical ideas on developing a strong board that enjoys raising funds.

CULTIVATE YOUR NEXT BOARD LEADERS

December 12th, 12:00 – 1:00  |   Nonprofit Hub
 
Need more board members to fill empty slots? Need board members with certain skill sets? Have board members stepping down soon? Wondering who is going to take over as the board chair?
You’re not alone! Join us for an informative presentation on building a stronger board, and take back practical ideas to grow your organization. The training is targeted at executive directors, board chairs, or nomination committee members.