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What do CEO’s Expect from Nonprofit Board Members???

Recently we facilitated a conversation on Great Governance.  Nothing unusual about the topic, but there was something unusual about the audience.  The audience wasn’t filled with Board members.  It was filled with Executive Directors, CEO’s, or other Executive Management team members of nonprofits.

One the questions we explored centered on their definition of Great Governance and how that definition shaped what they expect from their Board members.  Here are a few of their responses:

What are some characteristics of Great Governance? How does this shape what you expect from your Board?
Accountability We expect Board members to be accountable for what they say they’re going to do.Uphold their own standards and hold each other accountable.

Also hold me accountable as well.  How can they hold me accountable if they won’t even complete my annual evaluation?

 

Stewardship They’re stewards of the public’s resources.I expect them to honor that stewardship and take their jobs seriously.

 

Engagement Don’t just attend meetings.Be engaged and participate. Provide feedback and input.

Question the status quo.

 

Financial Support Give at a sacrificial level.Get others to give. Lead the way and pave the path for others to give.

 

Advocate Speak for those that don’t have a “voice”.Promote and advance the message and cause of the agency in all of their circles of influence.

 

What Great Governance characteristics would you add to this list?  Remember Great Governance is evident by the performance of the Board.  Here are some questions for you and your Board to consider:

  1. How do we define performance for individual board members?
  2. How do we define performance for the Board collectively?
  3. Are we (individually and collectively) performing at a Great Governance level?
  4. What will we do to ensure we’re continually improving our performance?

Hope this helps improve the performance for you and your Board.

 

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