Can a 9-Year Tenure Promote Nonprofit Director Effectiveness? Milestone:This blog-post is number 200, since late 2011, for my blog-site. Like this blog-post, I have attempted to show how board practice and research from other areas might help nonprofits to achieve better mission outcomes and impacts. In other posts, I have attempted commented on traditional issues, such as is the board or CEO primarily responsible for fundraising? That blog-post went viral on the Internet abut 10 days ago and continues to go viral today. Thanks to all who added their insights and experiences to my comments.
By: Eugene Fram
Having served on two nonprofit boards for a period of ten consecutive years, I was interested to read a current study of the optimal tenure for business board directors. The business study found that a director’s effectiveness peaked at nine years, after which it falls off.* If a parallel study were to be run with nonprofits, what conclusions might be drawn given that the usual nonprofit board tenure is two three-year terms? What, if any, might be the impact on nonprofits by extending directors’ term of office? Although there are differences in their missions, nonprofit and for-profit boards should be able learn from each other., (more…)
Nonprofit CEO Board Chair Relationships –Anything Works!!
A recent NPQ Nonprofit Newswire (March 13th 2012), report concludes, that to build good nonprofit CEO-board chair relationships, “Task lists and job descriptions often propose a “one size fits all” recipe for the CEO-Board chair relationship, (but the lists have little to do with real world effectiveness.)” (more…)
CEO assessment should be very thorough and take place annually. That doesn’t mean that it always has to take place at one time. In some situations, assessment occurs throughout the year, depending on how the committee members decide to divide their tasks.
After completing the entire review, the assessment committee should make its report to the full board. If the review takes place periodically throughout the year, board updates follow a similar pattern. (more…)
How Often Should a Nonprofit Audit Committee Meet?
By Eugene Fram
Under “usual” conditions, the audit committee should meet at least twice a year, once just before the annual audit to understand how the audit is going to be conducted and then after the auditor’s management letter has been received. If other major issues arise, such as a major change in the organizations pension plan, more meetings will be required with outside counsel , experts in the area being discussed.
Part of each meeting with the external auditors is held in executive session. This is one of the few times that management is excluded from a meeting. Some boards, in recent years, however, devote some part of most meetings to an executive session. (more…)