The 4 P’s of Great Governance: Making Boards Better

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A recent survey by accounting firm Marks Paneth reveals that nonprofit executives believe that Boards of Directors struggle to meet basic responsibilities.

  • Only 45% say the board closely monitors investments.
  • Only 29% say the board connects the organization to external sources.
  • Only 28% say board members are highly strategic in providing guidance.
  • And only 15% say the board “closely monitors dashboard performance compared to peer organizations”.

All too often Boards get bogged down in administrative discussions and committee work. While committees are formed to supplement the work of the Board, Board meetings should remain laser-focused on the four Ps of great governance:

Purpose: Set the organization’s mission and goals, and develop strategic plans to meet these objectives.

Performance:  Continuously monitor program effectiveness against the adopted mission and objectives.

Property: Ensure the organization has the resources necessary to meet its mission. Fundraising is the obvious answer, but equally important are adequate staffing, technology, and a suitable physical space.

People: Select the Chief Executive Officer, and recruit and develop Board members to ensure the skills needed for strong oversight.

Board members are volunteers, and very busy volunteers at that! The answer to bettering governance is not simple of course. It is imperative that potential new board members are given a full understanding of what they are being asked to commit to – written job descriptions and well-defined expectations are key.  Once they agree to join the Board, ongoing Board Training and Development is essential.

Interested in visiting about Board assessments, structure, and development? We are here to talk!