Board Development

What is Board Development?

Minnesota code imposes on board members the fiduciary duties of care, loyalty, and obedience to the law. From starting a new agency to leading a well established organization, nonprofit boards of directors need to stay consistently focused on both the overall stability and the strategic direction of their agency.

Basic board responsibilities include:

  • Set direction and policy and ensure that the organization has adequate resources to carry out its mission.
  • Provide direction and support for the executive director and be responsible for evaluating his/her performance.
  • Evaluate its own effectiveness as a governing body and as individual representatives of the community who ensure the public interest is served by the organization.

Other important aspects of board governance roles and responsibilities include:

  • Clarify the unique role and responsibilities of board members and staff.
  • Clarify the board's role in establishing the mission and setting future direction.
  • Provide an independent assessment of the agency's life cycle and associated implications.
  • Develop policies and procedures to clarify and articulate the board's position to the staff and community.

What Kinds of Board Development Services Are Available?

We offer a broad range of support on board and governance issues. We have developed a short Board Assessment Survey for Board leaders who want a basic evaluation of their Board's effectiveness. For an example of how a board assessment worked for a local organization and what further work was accomplished, download our case study.

Another basic element of our services is our Board Governance 101 training workshop on the legal and financial duties of a nonprofit board. More comprehensive services include identifying board strengths and weaknesses, organization norms and cultural beliefs, and the agency's life cycle stage.

We also use a variety of tools and methods to address recurring issues including conflict resolution, recruitment, executive director performance review, and resource development. Techniques for accomplishing this work include facilitated board meetings, a series of board retreats, and coaching for the board chair and executive.