Greater engagement urged for nonprofit boards

Nonprofit boards are spending large amounts of time on compliance issues to the detriment of their organizations’ mission-related work, a new paper says.

BoardSource, a Washington D.C.-based group that works to strengthen nonprofit boards, released “The Source: Twelve Principles of Governance that Power Exceptional Boards,” to help nonprofits maximize the effectiveness of their governing boards.

The paper calls for board members to balance their roles as providers of oversight with the their roles as supporters of the missions of the nonprofits they serve, and provides 12 principles that describe “empowered boards.”

The principles include developing good working relationships with the heads of nonprofits, ensuring the organizations remain true their missions, promoting transparency and openness, providing financial and other critical resources and focusing on results and progress toward mission-related goals.

The paper also recommends that boards find opportunities for continuous learning and improvement and stay fresh and active by encouraging appropriate recruitment, inclusiveness and turnover among board members.

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