Board Governance Series 2019 Program Descriptions

August 24, 2017


In part one of this series, we’ll cover the following topics:

  • The purpose of nonprofit governance and the board’s legal obligations of duty, loyalty and obedience.
  • Using CompassPoint’s Governance and Management Support tool, we’ll discuss the specific roles and responsibilities of board members.
  • How to tailor board engagement based on organizational needs and individual board members’ interests, skills, and capacity.
  • How to create a powerful leadership partnership among the board, executive director, and other staff.

Learning Objectives:

  • Understand nonprofit governance and the purpose of a nonprofit board
  • Understand the legal obligations of nonprofit board members.
  • Understand the distinction between governance and management support; understand the board’s roles and responsibilities in each area.
  • Understand the interdependent governance relationship between the ED and the board.
  • Have identified ideas for how to strengthen the partnership between the board and staff.


In part two of this series, we’ll build on session one and will cover the following topics:

  • How to determine the right committees and task forces to support governance and organizational needs.
  • How to create engaging board meeting and retreat agendas.
  • Understanding that important board work happens between meetings and not just in the board room, we’ll discuss strategies and tactics for sustaining engagement and ensuring momentum between formal meetings.

Learning Objectives:

  • Understand how to create the right structures to support the work of the board and the organization.
  • Have identified specific changes to adopt or improve your board’s committee structures.
  • Have begun to redesign your board’s meeting agendas and structures.
  • Learn a set of promising practices to heighten board member engagement.


This session provides a framework for understanding financial leadership specifically within the context of board governance.  We’ll focus first on how to read and understand key financial statements and give you hands-on practice with using those statements to assess your organization’s overall financial health.  Then, using your real experiences, we’ll discuss how to frame conversations to inform board level decision-making.  

Learning Objectives:
By the end of this course, participants will be able to:

  • Assess your understanding of the five financial leadership principles.
  • Understand finance basics and what information is found on your core financial statements: the balance sheet and the statement of activities.
  • Understand what finance roles and structures you need to support strong your staff and board partnership.


In this session, we’ll explore why executive director evaluations are such a critical aspect of board work, and how this practice not only fulfills a governance responsibility, but benefits the executive director, the board, and the staff. Specifically, we’ll cover:

  • The key elements of an ED evaluation process: the specific performance dimensions to be evaluated, desired results, and the process itself.
  • We’ll review how to structure the process, an outline of each step, and provide guidance on how to successfully coordinate the work along the way
  • How to prepare for the evaluation meeting and ensure that it is a satisfying and productive experience.
  • We’ll also discuss the specific considerations for evaluating new and first time executive directors.
  • Participants will be provided with evaluation templates to customize for their own unique needs.

Learning Objectives:

  • Understand how executive director evaluations fulfill a key governance responsibilities.
  • Understand the steps involved in the evaluation process.
  • Have identified the next steps to create or improve your own practice


This session will take you through a step by step process to identify your board’s ideal composition, based on the organization’s governance and management support needs, and how to structure your recruitment process. This session will also address how to address board succession through a thoughtful and planned recruitment process. Specifically, we’ll cover:

  • How to identify your recruitment priorities, including preparation for board member transitions
  • How to use a recruitment matrix tool to organize names of candidates
  • How to create your recruitment process
  • Using a toolkit of templates, we’ll review the elements of a recruitment packet
  • Strategies for identifying potential board candidates and how to lead them through a recruitment process

Learning Objectives:

  • Understand how to determine your organization’s ideal board composition
  • Understand how to set recruitment priorities
  • Learn the steps involved in the recruitment process
  • Have identified the next steps to create or improve your own process