Board Governance Series

August 24, 2017

The Greater New Orleans Foundation’s Organizational Effectiveness (OE) Initiative with support from the Kresge Foundation is thrilled to open registration for the third round of our popular Board Governance series.

 “The Board Governance Series not only gave me, our COO and board president an opportunity to learn new effective and efficient practices to enhance our governance and leadership, but also provided a space for us to learn from our nonprofit peers and apply that learning in real-time.”  

-Keith H. Liederman, Ph.D., Chief Executive Officer, Kingsley House, Inc.

 “Even an organization that is over 120 years old has room for improvement. Through the Board Governance Series, we were able to spend time reflecting on our current governance policies and procedures and develop strategies to improve.”

-Bill Hammack, President of the Board, Kingsley House, Inc.

The Board Governance series is designed for board members, executive directors, and senior staff who are interested in deepening their understanding of nonprofit governance and better aligning the work of the board to heighten board engagement and maximize its impact. In addition to attending the in-person sessions—a blend of expert training and facilitation with peer-learning with other local nonprofit leaders—all participants will have access to a board toolkit which includes a set of sample templates and tools to create your first board handbook or update your current one. The series covers the following topics:

  1. Governance Fundamentals and Board Roles and Responsibilities;
  2. Board Structures and Practices;
  3. Financial Leadership for Board Members
  4. Evaluating the Executive Director; and
  5. Board Recruitment and Succession Planning.

Click here for a description for each of these topics.

The series will include 5 half-day learning opportunities that will repeat with a morning session and evening session. Participants will select either the morning or evening series when registering.

We are pleased to offer an evening session to accommodate board members who are unable to attend workshops during the day. However, the evening session is contingent on receiving enough registrations to fill the workshop. In the event the evening session isn’t full, registrants will be offered the opportunity to register for an afternoon session on the same days. At the time of registration, you will have the option to select whether or not an afternoon session is feasible for your organization.

Organizational teams of 3-4 consistent participants including the executive director, other senior leader charged with governance, and a minimum of 2 board members are required to participate in the entire program. Board members may be added for individual workshops depending on the topic. For example, the Treasurer might attend the Financial Leadership for Board Members, but not participate in the other sessions.

The fee for the full series is $300 per organization.

Space in the series is limited to 20 organizations and registration will be accepted on a first-come, first-served basis. Click here to register.

Program Dates (participants will select either the 8:30 am-12 pm or 5:00 pm-8:30 pm sessions for the series.)

Tuesday, February 19
Session 1: Governance Fundamentals and Board Roles and Responsibilities

Thursday, March 14
Session 2: Board Structures and Practices

Thursday, April 4
Session 3: Financial Leadership for Board Members

Tuesday, April 30
Session 4: Evaluating the Executive Director

Tuesday, May 21
Session 5: Board Recruitment and Succession Planning


Marla CorneliusMarla Cornelius, MNA

Consultant: Nonprofit Leadership, Management, and Board Governance

Marla Cornelius works with organizations and leaders committed to social justice. She is skilled at designing programs and consulting engagements blending highly relevant theory with practical application. Her deep understanding of nonprofits, the challenges facing leaders, and the way that power plays out in organizations enables her to create environments where clients can explore new realities, learn new approaches, and achieve their goals.

Marla is an expert trainer, facilitator, content coach and consultant in the following areas:

  • Nonprofit governance, board development
  • Adaptive leadership
  • Strengths based leadership
  • Leadership development program design
  • Staff/talent development, performance management
  • Organizational development
  • Theory of Change development

While at CompassPoint (2000 to 2017), a leading nonprofit capacity building organization, she led the design and delivery of numerous leadership development cohort programs such as Next Generation Leaders of Color, Organizational Sustainability, and Strategic Leader Development.  She co-authored the research reports UnderDeveloped: A National Study of Challenges Facing Nonprofit Fundraising (2013), Daring to Lead: A National Study of Nonprofit Executive Leadership (2011), and Ready to Lead? Next Generation Leaders Speak Out (2008). Marla has a Masters in Nonprofit Administration (MNA) from the University of San Francisco.