Toolbox: Effective Meetings

PURPOSE AND INSTRUCTIONS Most board business is done in meetings and effective meetings don’t just happen, they are made. Ensuring your time together is useful, productive and engaging takes focus and intentional facilitation. Make and distribute a copy of the assessment (available as a PDF here) to each board member at your next board meeting. Take 10 minutes and ask the board to thoughtfully answer…

Toolbox: Deciding Which Programs to Evaluate

This exercise can determine which programs you want to evaluate.  PURPOSE This exercise will help you identify your organization’s key program areas and help you to decide which ones you may want to evaluate. INSTRUCTIONS Make a copy of this handout for each board member. Take 10 minutes at your next board meeting and ask each board member to complete it. Use a flip chart…

Toolbox: Are You Ready for Change?

This exercise can spark important discussion about diversity. PURPOSE This exercise allows each individual to assess how the organization plans for and implements change. By the end of the exercise, the Board will identify how the organization typically thinks about change. INSTRUCTIONS Make a copy of this handout for each board member. Have each board member think about how your organization typically plans for and…

Toolbox: Internal Controls

PURPOSE This board exercise will clarify methods used by your organization to process financial transactions. It will identify who currently handles different accounting tasks and indicate if there is adequate segregation of duties.  Strengthening internal accounting controls protects the organization’s financial assets against theft and protects those performing the financial duties against erroneous accusations. INSTRUCTIONS Step One:  Select one person from your board that is…

Toolbox: Board Member Job Descriptions

PURPOSE AND INSTRUCTIONS The board job description is used to recruit new board members, to remind current board members of their role and responsibility to the organization, and in some cases, to let board members go who cannot discharge their board responsibilities. Therefore, the board member job description should be signed and dated, a copy kept in the board member’s notebook, and another copy kept…

Toolbox: Becoming Your Donor’s Favorite Cause

PURPOSE AND INSTRUCTIONS This exercise will help you identify ways to solidify your relationships with your current donors by making them feel more appreciated, in the know, and included in the work of your organization.  How donors feel about your organization is a strong indicator of whether they will give again or not. Distribute a copy of this handout (available here as a PDF) to…

Toolbox: Review Your Mission Statement

Does your mission adequately and accurately reflect your organization’s purpose? Is it succinct and to the point? Can you remember it without looking? Your organization’s mission is the most important governing statement under the board’s responsibility. The mission (or fundamental purpose) of an organization should be revisited regularly to be sure it accurately reflects the work you do. A strong mission will answer the questions…