The International Journal of Not-for-Profit Law

Designating a ‘Lead Director’ Can Help Nonprofit Boards Improve Their Operations- Updated & Reissued

For several years, I have suggested that some NFP boards experiment with the addition of a Lead Director to their rosters, just as for-profit boards successfully have since 2002. This blog is divided into two sections. First is an abstract of an article published I published on the topic in the Chronicle of Philanthropy (June 2, 2011, p.34). This will help the viewer understand how I am adapting a business board process to a nonprofit board. Following that is a field critique of my proposal provided by Mark Soundie. Mark is uniquely qualified to comment. He provides counsel to boards for the following types of nonprofits: social housing providers, voluntary & social enterprise organizations from all sectors and all sizes & types of charities, His essay below provides an excellent summary of the pros and cons. Also, I have noted from a current study that about 37% of a small subgroup of 420 nonprofit directors responding to an NACD study have designated directors on their nonprofit boards. In addition, 88% of the group concluded that their lead directors enhanced board effectiveness.* These nascent results are encouraging news. Finally, a link follows to a comprehensive article on lead directors that appeared in April, 2012 in The International Journal of Not-For-Profit Law, Vol.14, Numbers 1-2.pages 52-57. Lead director article: