10 Attributes of a BOSS Board!

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Board: Effective Governance
10 Attributes of a BOSS Board: take your not-for-profit governance to new heights by following these ten tips on areas including great meetings, decision making and strategic planning.

Here at Vantage Point, we have worked with hundreds of boards and thousands of board members. We are often asked what makes a great board and so we have developed a list to help boards fine tune their processes for greater governance success.

Share this list with your board and discuss how you can integrate these tips to take your board to the next level.

Great boards…

  1. Establish timely meetings & good attendance: Board meetings both start and end on time, and are well-attended. Board members come prepared, having read the package and reflected on the discussion and decision items beforehand. And – the board package is sent out at least 3 days before the meeting!
  2. Develop strong agendas: Board meeting agendas provide opportunities for deep discussion and a diversity of opinions. Everyone is encouraged and empowered to contribute. The board discusses the most important issues at board meetings, makes decisions, and commits to not revisiting a done-to-death item.
  3. Ensure responsibilities are clear: Each board member understands their fiduciary responsibilities, the finances of the organization (and how to read financial statements), and their duty of loyalty.
  4. Create organizational ambassadors: Board members are great ambassadors for the organization, finding every opportunity to communicate the mission and impact.
  5. Engage in fund development: All board members are involved, in some way, in the fund development of the organization.
  6. Support the ED/CEO: The board provides support and encouragement to the ED/CEO.
  7. Foster board development: The board takes care of itself, with a strong orientation process for new board members, is active in ongoing board renewal, and looks for opportunities for continued board education and development.
  8. Provide oversight for the strategic plan: The board leads and champions a strategic plan for the organization and regularly measures success towards it.
  9. Focus on governance: The board stays in governance and out of operations (unless they are a working board, where they still need to have time for governance).
  10. See the big picture: The board’s primary focus is on the big picture, achieving results, and figuring out how to effectively and efficiently measure impact.


About the Author

As Vantage Point's Executive Director, Denise is responsible for leading and executing Vantage Point’s mission to totally transform the not-for-profit sector through building leadership capability. She has a significant record of achievement in the areas of Strategic Planning, Team Development...


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