Guidelines for Improving the Effectiveness of Boards of Directors of Nonprofit Organizations

Author(s): and

The purpose of this book is to help boards of directors of nonprofit organizations improve their performance after completing the Board Check-Up, online board performance self-assessment tool found at www.boardcheckup.com. This book is also valuable as a stand-alone resource for any board seeking to assess its performance in that it contains the diagnostic questions on which the online self-assessment tool is based. It goes further by providing a framework for boards to use in discussing needed changes in board performance. It also forms an integral part of a University at Albany, SUNY online course titled, The Governance of Nonprofit Organizations. This massive open online course (MOOC) can be taken for free or academic credit through Coursera’s online teaching and learning platform. For more information about this book, the Board Check-Up, and the nonprofit governance MOOC, please contact Prof. Yvonne Harrison at yharrison@albany.edu.

Chapter 1: Introduction

Chapter 2: The Board’s Role and Responsibilities

Chapter 3: The Board’s Role in Planning

Chapter 4: The Board’s Role in Performance Assessment

Chapter 5: The Board’s Role in Fundraising

Chapter 6: The Board’s Structure and Operating Procedures

Chapter 7: Effective Board Meetings

Chapter 8: The Composition and Development of the Board

Chapter 9: The Informal Culture of the Board

Chapter 10: Leadership on the Board

Chapter 11: Conclusion

References



Vic Murray

Vic Murray is currently Adjunct Professor in the School of Public Administration at the University of Victoria. From 1983 to 1995, he was director of the program in voluntary sector management in the Schulich School of Business at York University, Toronto.

Dr. Murray specializes in the study of voluntary sector organizations of all types with particular emphasis on the areas of board governance, strategic planning, inter-organizational collaboration, and the assessment of organizational effectiveness. He is also an active consultant and volunteer in these areas.
As Director of the Nonprofit Leadership and Management Program at York University he developed Canada’s first certificate and master’s level programs in that field. He is the author of many books, articles and papers in the fields of organizational behavior and nonprofit management. His most recent book is The Management of Nonprofit and Charitable Organizations in Canada (LexisNexis, 2009).

Currently, he is a member of the Advisory Board for the journal Nonprofit Management and Leadership, and active in the Association for Research on Nonprofit Organizations and Voluntary Action (ARNOVA). In 2002 he was awarded ARNOVA’s Distinguished Lifetime Achievement Award. In 1995 the Canadian Centre for Philanthropy awarded him the Alan Arlett medal for distinguished contributions to philanthropy research.
In 2005, he helped to found the Association for Nonprofit and Social Economy Research of Canada and, in 2013, was awarded its Distinguished Service Award.

Dr. Murray’s current research interest is a longitudinal study of the impact of the self-assessment of governance performance in nonprofit organizations (see www.boardcheckup.com) with Dr. Yvonne Harrison of the State University of New York at Albany.

Yvonne Harrison

Yvonne Harrison is Assistant Professor in the Department of Public Administration and Policy in Rockefeller College of Public Affairs and Policy, University at Albany, SUNY. Prior to joining the Rockefeller College faculty, Yvonne was Assistant Professor in the Center for Nonprofit and Social Enterprise Management at Seattle University, Washington where she conducted nonprofit leadership research and taught courses in nonprofit governance and information management in nonprofit and government organizations.
Dr. Harrison has expertise in the governance and leadership of nonprofit organizations and the adoption and impact of information and communications technology (ICT) in nonprofit and voluntary sector organizations. Her current research examines questions about the effectiveness of nonprofit governing boards and the impact of online board performance self-assessment on nonprofit governance and organizational effectiveness. Funding for this research comes from the following sources: Institute for Nonprofit Studies, Mount Royal University in Calgary, Alberta, Canada; University at Albany Faculty Research Award Programs (A and B); Rockefeller College of Public Affairs and Policy, University at Albany, SUNY.
Currently, she is a member of the Association for Research on Nonprofit Organizations and Voluntary Action (ARNOVA) and Association for Nonprofit and Social Economy Research of Canada (ANSER).
In 2002, Dr. Harrison was awarded (with John Langford), the J. E. Hodgetts Award for Best Article in Canadian Public Administration (CPA). She is the author of a number of other peer reviewed journal articles, book chapters, research reports, and publications. She holds a Bachelor of Science in Nursing, a Master of Public Administration and PhD in Public Administration from the University of Victoria, British Columbia, Canada.