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Nonprofit boards seen lacking

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Nonprofits generally rely on their boards of directors to guide their organizations and provide fundraising leadership, but a new report says many boards are shirking those duties.

The Nonprofit Governance Index, released by BoardSource, calls the governing bodies’ performance “mediocre at best,” with fundraising topping the list of concerns.

Fewer than half the organizations studied say they have 100 percent participation in giving by board members, and slightly more than one in four members, on average, do not give to the charities they serve.

Many board members acknowledge their weakness in fundraising, with only four in 10 saying they are comfortable asking for money on behalf of their charities.

Board composition ranked second among concerns of nonprofit leaders, even though the general make-up of boards has stayed the same over the past decade.

Almost nine in 10 board members are white, over half are men, and about half are between age 50 and 64, the study says.

Smaller charities generally have less diverse boards, but the number of African-American, female and older members tends to increase with the size of the organization.

While boards act as the “supervisors” for the chief executives of charities, the report says, only about one in four boards conducts formal written reviews of its organization’s chief.

And one in three boards does not review its CEO’s compensation package as a full group, while slightly more than that fail to compare their chief executives’ salaries to those of comparable organizations.

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