Nonprofit governance is challenging work whether for a board as a whole or individual board directors.
Governance is the process of providing strategic leadership to a nonprofit organization. The board is responsible for "all aspects of the organization, including overseeing its operations and holding management accountable for delivering on the mission of the organization."1
While the board oversees all aspects of the nonprofit's management and operations, individual directors also have responsibilities. Directors are obliged to exercise the care, diligence and skill that a reasonably prudent person would exercise in comparable circumstances (“duty of care”) and act honestly and in good faith in the best interests of the organization (“fiduciary duty”.)2
Check out these governance-focused videos - each is an excerpt from a webinar or presentation on governance and board health.
Nonprofit Governance: Issues in Nonprofit Boards (4:17) This short video looks at five common issues in nonprofit boards. Understanding the principles of high-functioning board and board governance is integral to the smooth and effective running of any nonprofit organization.
Video: Nonprofit Governance: Board Roles and Responsibilities (4:40) This video outlines board responsibilities including that the board focuses on whole organization, works together as a whole, approves policy and monitors impact, hires and supervises one employee, and avoide operational decisions.
Video: Nonprofit Governance: Board Director Duties (8:45) Director duties include the duty of care and the duty of loyalty. There are also fiduciary responsibilities - the duty to act in scope of authority in regards to legislation and the organization’s objects, bylaws, policies, and procedures. Find out what these mean in this short video.
Video: Nonprofit Governance: Roles of Board, Senior Executive, and Staff (7:19) The board, senior executive and staff work together for the success of the organization's mission, but each has unique roles and responsibilities.
IntegralOrg has a range of custom services that can help your nonprofit develop effective governance processes.
Consultation: If you have a question about governance or board functioning, we are happy to offer our expertise through a free consultation.
Legal Clinic: The legal aspects of running a nonprofit are complex. In a legal clinic, you can chat with a lawyer with decades of experience in the nonprofit sector about your governance issue. For example, you may want a legal perspective on whether your board policies or bylaws are complete.
If you have a need for in-depth solutions, IntegralOrg can work directly with your nonprofit. We work alongside your organization, through customized supports that assist you on your journey as a nonprofit. Please contact us at 403-910-7279 or connect by email. Organizational development is undertaken on a fee-for-service basis.
Board Evaluation Survey: A survey that gathers input about the performance, and function of the board of directors of your organization in order to develop a common understanding of overall governance performance within the organization as well as areas of strength and weakness for the board of directors to consider in their development process.
Board Skills Evaluation: An evaluation that determines the current skills and experience composition of your board and provides a policy for how a Skills and Experience Matrix may be incorporated into ongoing board recruitment processes.
A review of governance in your organization that includes understanding the current legal framework and governance requirements; determining the existing governance policies that are in place; discussing practices for improved governance; and making recommendations on required updates and additions to governance policies.
A board education session focusing on topics such as board director’s fiduciary and legal responsibilities, roles and responsibilities, and the role of the board in strategy and operations. An educational session builds unity and focus among the board; educates the board and staff on principles of board governance; and helps the team work towards a common understanding of the style of governance that will be used.
In-depth coaching with the board and the executive director/CEO to clarify roles and responsibilities and build high-functioning relationships and strong governance practices.
1, 2. From Governance for Not-for-Profit Organizations: Questions to Ask: Second Edition. Don Taylor. Chartered Professional Accountants of Canada.
Understanding the principles of governance is integral to the smooth and effective running of any nonprofit or charitable organization. This workshop provides an overview of the basics of governance and board functioning including the three interconnected areas of responsibility – fiduciary, strategic, and generative – and the board’s role in focusing on the entire organization and working together as a whole. This workshop was held on October 19, 2023. Watch the video.
Annual General Meetings: A primer for Alberta nonprofits. Yvonne Chenier, June 20, 2022
The Board Development Program: Alberta-based resources for nonprofit governance.
Chartered Professional Accountants of Canada: A wide range of high quality and up-to-date resources on nonprofit finance, governance, and human resources.
BoardSource: Provides leaders with an extensive range of tools, resources, and research data to increase board effectiveness and strengthen organizational impact. An American resource.