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Category Archives: Board Development

Nov 12, 2023
Posted Under: Board Development President's letter

Plenty has been written about the importance of finding “the right” communication channels between the whole board and CEO/Executive Director and the board itself. Often, we think of a few paths for this communication: Executive or board evaluation Board meetings Scheduled check-ins between the executive and the board Regular written updates Recently, I wrote an article on executive evaluation, and I encourage you to revisit it if you and your team are struggling in this space. We also have several articles on board meetings that speak to many aspects of the meeting structure, including the role of staff. Two quick points to consider that could maximize communication in the boardroom are: Recognizing that it is a board meeting, not a staff meeting. If you are the executive, ask yourself how… Read more »

Oct 10, 2023
Posted Under: Board Development President's letter

We regularly receive calls requesting us to teach parliamentary procedure – often referred to as Robert’s Rules of Order – and regularly we decline. We are not intentionally being obstinate, but there is something about teaching it that feels off for us – like we are not telling the whole story. We believe that focusing too much on the Rules takes away from important aspects of what makes for an effective meeting. Sometimes I remind groups that using Robert’s Rules is a “self-inflicted choice” so they know they can pivot if Robert becomes a burden and not an opportunity for structure. Some nonprofits have noted the use of Robert’s Rules in their bylaws, but most have not. It is simply a way of running a meeting that has “always been… Read more »

Sep 12, 2023
Posted Under: Board Development President's letter

Decades into recommending a board matrix to focus on recruiting “the right people at the right time to serve mission” (as we say in the Foraker Nonprofit Sustainability Model), it dawned on me several years ago that when the data on board diversity still had not shifted, perhaps one of the problems is that the tool many groups are using to actually diversify the board is broken. Turns out, the tool itself may be fine, but if the users (you and me) are not implementing it with clear intentions, it will inevitably maintain the status quo in the boardroom. To be fair, that may be exactly what you are after, but again, many groups actually turn to the matrix to purposefully engage diverse individuals in the room based not just… Read more »

Aug 9, 2023
Posted Under: Board Development Human Resources Leadership Development President's letter

Our collective workforce woes are real, and we are all searching for what we can do to attract and retain a great workforce. Some of the obvious tools for compensation are outside our reach at the moment, but we do have tools in house right now that we can use to engage and understand our workforce more fully. One of those is meaningful evaluation. There is an art and a science to getting helpful feedback, and if you are the executive director or CEO, you likely know better than most how difficult evaluations are to come by, and meaningful ones are a bit like unicorns. That said, it is not just appropriate to expect some form of helpful feedback, but if you are the executive, it is part of the… Read more »

Mar 30, 2023
Posted Under: Board Development Diversity and Inclusion       Tags: Alaska Board Match

Alaska Board Match is an online match tool created to help nonprofits establish more diverse, inclusive, and welcoming board rooms. This site also assists in pairing Alaskans ready to serve local nonprofits in need of board members. Have you created an account for your organization? Find your next high performing board member today!… Read more »

Jan 24, 2023
Posted Under: Board Development Diversity and Inclusion

Alaska Board Match is an online match tool created to help nonprofits establish more diverse, inclusive, and welcoming board rooms. This site also assists in pairing Alaskans ready to serve local nonprofits in need of board members. Alaska Board Match is designed to address barriers to access of information, networks, and resources. Unfortunately, there is a historical gap in the demographics of many boards and the populations they serve. There is an increased demand nationwide to identify, recruit, and retain qualified candidates from under-represented groups who are diverse in race, age, gender, and lived experience. Also, a growing number of volunteers want to put their professional and personal skills to use in their communities. You can find the site here.    … Read more »

Aug 8, 2022
Posted Under: Board Development Diversity and Inclusion President's letter

In June, we debuted our From Bias to Belonging℠ services and stated again our commitment to talking about and doing something about the very real challenges of diversity, equity, and belonging in the nonprofit sector. Indeed, every day in some way we are dedicated to looking deeper, to asking more questions, to listening more, and to learning more. That is our path, and this is the work – to take the lessons learned, turn them into new goals that stretch us, then achieve them, then tackle the next set, and the next. At Foraker, we acknowledge that as a capacity builder we must constantly be learning what the data and our experiences tell us while we meet people and missions where they are. We talk internally about our work as… Read more »

Jun 10, 2020
Posted Under: Board Development Diversity and Inclusion President's letter

Talking about and even doing something about the very real challenges of diversity and equity in the nonprofit sector is not a new topic for us and for many others across the country. And yet, the challenges remain. When I became CEO five years ago, Foraker took an additional step to advance our work by making diversity and equity central tenants in our plans. While we have taken many steps, we are far from where we want to be and where our sector needs to be for lasting change. Still, we have endeavored to bring thoughtful leadership, compelling data, and a range of national experts on the topic to Alaska’s nonprofits to not only keep the conversation going but to incite true reflection and change. Admittedly we have struggled because… Read more »

Dec 19, 2019
Posted Under: Board Development

Move your organization’s mission forward by creating and maintaining a thriving board. In this series we’ll explore the key concepts that will help your board to focus on strategic decisions and visionary leadership. Whether you are a well-seasoned or first-time board member, these classes are for you. The webinar series will include four courses to bring clarity and energy to your board service. The courses will be held on Tuesdays from 5:30 – 7:30 pm online. Board Roles & Responsibilities (January 7): Gain a fuller understanding of your role as a board member High Performing Boards (January 14): Use committees more effectively and solidify your recruitment and retention process Effective Board Leadership (January 21): Fine tune the board/staff relationship and get tools to guide decision making Effective Board Meetings (January 28): Focus your meetings on discussion, decisions,… Read more »

Sep 11, 2019
Posted Under: Board Development

We recently conducted a survey on how Alaska nonprofits are responding to the state fiscal crisis – we heard from many of you that you need support. Here are nine ideas to help guide you. You can use these as a conversation starter with your board and leadership team. You can also call on us. We are ready to guide you. As you go through these, help your board and staff be as strategic as possible to avoid surprises. And remember – don’t just create the plans, live them! Create or update your strategic plan: Not a new tool for sure, but an essential one. If you don’t know who you are and where you are going, every road will take you there, and every crisis will distract you. Create… Read more »