The Ultimate Board Members Book
Bottom line: This is a quick read that will help you understand the job of a board member.
The Ultimate Board Member’s Book takes only 60 minutes to read, yet it provides a solid command of just what board members must do to help their organization succeed. It’s all here in jargon-free language: how boards work, what the job entails, the time commitment, the role of staff, serving on committees and task forces, fundraising responsibilities, conflicts of interest, group decision-making, how to develop yourself, effective recruiting, de-enlisting board members, board self-evaluation, and more.
You can buy the book here.
The Board Book: An Insider’s Guide for Directors and Trustees
A must-have for first-time and experienced board members alike, who will benefit from William G. Bowen’s decades of experience.
Former Mellon Foundation and Princeton University president William G. Bowen has served on the boards of some of the United States’s biggest corporations and nonprofits, including American Express, Merck, the Smithsonian, and TIAA-CREF. In The Board Book he brings his immense experience, along with the recollections and insights of numerous colleagues, to bear on the most pressing questions facing boards of directors and trustees today. His topics include the hot-button issues of the relationship between CEOs and board members, “perks,” executive compensation, and CEO transitions. In addition, Bowen offers advice on the “machinery” required to run a board effectively, including the uses of committees and executive sessions, the handling of leaks, and the recruitment of new board members. Throughout, Bowen relates, with anecdotes and hard data, strategies that result in the collegiality and sense of purpose that make any board more effective.
By William Bowen, 2008. Find it at Amazon.com.
Mission Driven Governance
The prevailing governance model is fundamentally adversarial, pitting board members in a never-ending struggle with executives. This model may ensure that the legal requirements of oversight and compliance are met, but it does little to advance the organization’s goals. The authors of this paper propose a new and more effective framework, one where board members and executives work together to advance the organization’s mission. You can find this article here.
By Raymond Fisman, Rakesh Khurana, & Edward Martenson
Legal Responsibilities of Nonprofit Boards
Board members have a fiduciary duty over the organization and its resources. This book, provides a preliminary understanding of the nonprofit legal landscape delivered in easy-to-understand terms. It discusses the concept of fiduciary responsibility, summarizes strategies for protecting board members from personal liability, and outlines the policies and procedures that, increasingly, are becoming best practices within the sector. It also includes an appendix with several samples of recommended board policies and a glossary of legal terms and concepts.
Legal Responsibilities of Nonprofit Boards, by Bruce R. Hopkins Washington, DC: BoardSource, 2003. Find it on BoardSource.
Great Boards for Small Groups: A 1-Hour Guide to Governing a Growing Nonprofit
Which of the following best describes your board: Phenomenal, fantastic, astonishing, boffo? Okay, pretty good is more like it. That’s the perspective Andy Robinson takes in his book, Great Boards for Small Groups. Andy knows that most boards are made up of well-meaning people who want to help. Transforming them into a powerhouse is unrealistic. But getting them to over-achieve isn’t. If your board needs clearly defined objectives, meetings with more focus, broader participation in fundraising, and more follow-through between meetings, Andy will help you chop through the thicket. Granted, even after your board absorbs Great Boards for Small Groups, the adjectives above might still be a stretch. But Andy is betting that at the very least, Exceptional is a label that will apply.
By Andy Robinson, 2006. Find it at Amazon.com.
Good Governance for Nonprofits: Developing Principles and Policies for an Effective Board
Many nonprofits are reluctant to develop a policies manual, believing that it takes far too much time, effort, and expertise. But the lack of responsible policies and governance can actually end up costing an organization much more in the long run — both in reputation and in resources. Good Governance for Nonprofits is a succinct but thorough guide that will help organizations develop a board that is legally and ethically responsible and effective in advancing their needs. The authors offer a clear process for creating a policies manual to help boards apply proven standards of governance or “attributes of excellence.” Now even with limited resources, nonprofit leaders will learn how to: Eliminate redundant or outdated policies Add new policies more effectively Clearly guide the CEO and evaluate his or her performance Ensure compliance with relevant legislation and regulations Understand why certain policies should be included Adapt the authors’ templates to their specific needs.
By Frederic L. Laughlin, 2007. Find it at Amazon.com.
Financial Responsibilities of Nonprofit Boards
While nonprofit success is measured in more than just dollars, board members must maintain a close eye on the financial direction of the organization and its economic stability if they are to truly fulfill their fiduciary responsibility.
Financial Responsibilities of Nonprofit Boards, Second Edition, by Andrew S. Lang for BoardSource, uses nontechnical language to help board members gain a basic understanding of their financial oversight responsibilities and gives them a starting point for comprehending key financial data.
Find it on BoardSource.
Extraordinary Board Leadership: The Keys To High Impact Governing
Many nonprofits never take full advantage of their board members. Extraordinary Board Leadership: The Keys To Governing deals with an incredibly important topic – “High-Impact Governing” – which is at the heart not only of a nonprofit’s effectiveness, but also the key to a positive, productive, and enduring Board-CEO partnership. This text offers practical, hands-on guidance, and goes beyond the old-fashioned “Policy Governance” approach in dealing with the Board-CEO-Executive Staff partnership. By Doug Eadie, 2008.
The Nonprofit Board’s Role in Mission, Planning, and Evaluation
All too often, nonprofit boards look at mission, planning, and evaluation in isolation. This book, however, offers an integrated approach. A regular and consistent planning process helps the board and staff clarify mission and make changes when necessary to keep mission fresh, lively, and relevant. A systematic evaluation process generates information to help formulate goals and provide the framework for measuring those goals against mission.
Find it on BoardSource.
Who Stole The American Dream?
Pulitzer Prize winner Hedrick Smith’s new book is an extraordinary achievement, an eye-opening account of how, over the past four decades, the American Dream has been dismantled and we became two Americas.
This book is essential reading for all of us who want to understand America today, or why average Americans are struggling to keep afloat. Smith reveals how pivotal laws and policies were altered while the public wasn’t looking, how Congress often ignores public opinion, why moderate politicians got shoved to the sidelines, and how Wall Street often wins politically by hiring over 1,400 former government officials as lobbyists.
Buy the book here.
Using All Our Resources: The Packard Foundation’s Program-Related Investment History and Portfolio
For more than 45 years, the David and Lucile Packard Foundation has worked with partners around the world to improve the lives of children, families, and communities—and to restore and protect our planet. Contact the Packard Foundation for this guide (published Los Altos, CA: 2004).
The Jossey-Bass Handbook of Nonprofit Leadership and Management
By Robert D. Herman & Associates, The Jossey-Bass Handbook of Nonprofit Leadership and Management offers a comprehensive and in-depth description of the most effective leadership and management practices that can be applied throughout a nonprofit organization. This second edition of the best-selling handbook brings you:
- Current knowledge and trends in effective practice of nonprofit organization leadership and management.
- A thoroughly revised edition based on the most up-to-date research, theory, and experience.
- Practical advice on: board development, strategic planning, lobbying marketing, government contracting, volunteer programs, fund-raising, financial accounting, compensation and benefits programs, and risk management.
- An examination of emerging topics of interest such as strategic alliances and finding and keeping the right employees.
- Contributions from luminaries such as John Bryson, Nancy Axelrod, and Peter Dobkin Hall, and the best of the new generation of leaders like Cynthia Massarsky.
The Executive Director’s Guide to Thriving as a Nonprofit Leader
This book provides practical insight for newly appointed Executive Directors (ED) and seasoned EDs. The Executive Director’s Guide to Thriving as a Nonprofit Leader 2nd Edition (The Jossey-Bass Nonprofit Guidebook Series) answers your basic questions and advice for crafting your voice and creating a call to action.
Order the book here.
Reframing Organizations: Artistry, Choice and Leadership
First published in 1984, Lee Bolman and Terrence Deal’s best-selling book has become a classic in the field. Its four-frame model examines organizations as factories, families, jungles, and theaters or temples:
- The Structural Frame: how to organize and structure groups and teams to get results
- The Human Resource Frame: how to tailor organizations to satisfy human needs, improve human resource management, and build positive interpersonal and group dynamics
- The Political Frame: how to cope with power and conflict, build coalitions, hone political skills, and deal with internal and external politics
- The Symbolic Frame: how to shape a culture that gives purpose and meaning to work, stage organizational drama for internal and external audiences, and build team spirit through ritual, ceremony, and story
This new edition is filled with new case examples such as Hurricane Katrina and profiles of great leaders such as Mother Theresa, Thomas Keller, and others. In addition, the book updates the “Organizational Theory’s Greatest Hits” text boxes throughout, and increases geographic, cultural and gender diversity in examples and text. It also features an enhanced online teacher’s guide with a new test bank, as well as updated PowerPoint slides, teaching ideas and experiential activities, and links to resources.
Program-Related Investments: A Technical Manual for Foundations
This book by Christie Baxter, illustrates how to establish, manage and monitor program related investments (PRIs) which are grants/loans issued by foundations. The author discusses the guidelines for evaluating PRIs and the grantee’s they’re given to, monitoring these grantees and keeping track of the returned funds. The financial, legal and regulatory aspects of PRIs are also highlighted. You can find it here.
Program-Related Investing: Skills and Strategies for New PRI Funders
Program-related investments are loans and equity investments that foundations provide at favorable rates to support activities that have a direct charitable purpose. Frequently referred to as PRIs, they expand the resources from foundations – and, in the right circumstances, can be even more effective than grants. Any foundation can make PRIs, yet most shy away from them. In this guide, experienced PRI makers walk through the process, offering practical advice at each step – from explaining the concept to your board to structuring and closing your first deal.
By Neil Carson, GrantCraft Series (New York, NY: The Ford Foundation, 2006). Find it at GrantCraft.
Nonprofit Sustainability: Making Strategic Decisions for Financial Viability
In Nonprofit Sustainability: Making Strategic Decisions for Financial Viability, authors Jeanne Bell, Jan Masaoka and Steve Zimmerman maintain that sustainability is an orientation, not a destination. “We never arrive at a mix of programs and revenue that can be described as permanently sustainable. But we can always be headed in the right direction.”
Interested? Find this book here.
Learning to Lead: A Workbook on Becoming a Leader
Over his distinguished career Warren Bennis has shown that leaders are made, not born. In Learning to Lead, written in partnership with management development expert Joan Goldsmith, Warren Bennis provides a program that will help managers transform themselves into leaders.
Using wise insights from the world’s best leaders, helpful self-assessments, and dozens of one-day skill-building exercises, Bennis and Goldsmith show in Learning to Lead how to see beyond leadership myths and communicate vision to others. With updates throughout, Learning to Lead is both a workbook and a deeply considered treatise on the nature of leadership by two of its finest and most experienced practitioners—and teachers.
Leadership and the One Minute Manager
With a new foreword by Ken Blanchard, Adapting One Minute Manager techniques to enable successful leadership to happen. Using different ways to motivate different kinds of people. Leadership and The One Minute Manager goes straight to the heart of management as it describes the effective, adaptive styles of Situational Leadership. In clear and simple terms it teaches how to become a flexible and successful leader, fitting your style to the needs of the individual and to the situation at hand, and using the One Minute Manager techniques to enhance the motivation of others.
Inside the Foundation: Program-Related Investments To Improve Health and Health Care
This annual anthology of original articles about RWJF grants and programs captures and conveys the experiences, findings, and lessons learned from a wide selection of the programs that we fund–programs that tackle some of today’s most critical health care issues.
The series reflects the Foundation’s commitment to sharing knowledge resulting from its grantmaking with those who can use and benefit from it.
Forces for Good, The Six Practices of High Impact Nonprofits
Anyone who is interested in creating social change—or in the nonprofit sector more broadly—should read, Forces for Good, The Six Practices of High Impact Nonprofits. While there’s something for anyone who cares about social impact, our findings have critical implications for:
- Nonprofit managers and leaders: If you run an established nonprofit, you’re likely already implementing many of these practices; you can learn to apply all of them, and improve your approach. Local and regional nonprofits can become more successful by applying these practices at the local level; growing nonprofits can use them as a guide to scaling impact more broadly.
- Donors and philanthropists: Donors who seek maximum impact from their charitable gifts can use these six practices as a screen to predict their grantees’ potential for significant impact, or to improve their own practices.
- Business leaders: Business leaders who want to improve their social performance and “do well, while doing good” can learn how to work with the best nonprofits.
- Students and academics: Students who are eager to learn more about the social sector will benefit from this book. Academics can use this as a jumping off point for further research on scaling social impact.
- Elected officials and policy-makers: Government has the money, political power, and distribution might; nonprofits have the talent, knowledge, and energy needed to create social change—together they are more powerful
Execution: The Discipline of Getting Things Done
The book that shows how to get the job done and deliver results . . . whether you’re running an entire company or in your first management job. By Larry Bossidy, Ram Charan and Charles Burck.
Larry Bossidy is one of the world’s most acclaimed CEOs, a man with few peers who has a track record for delivering results. Ram Charan is a legendary advisor to senior executives and boards of directors, a man with unparalleled insight into why some companies are successful and others are not. Together they’ve pooled their knowledge and experience into the one book on how to close the gap between results promised and results delivered that people in business need today.
After a long, stellar career with General Electric, Larry Bossidy transformed AlliedSignal into one of the world’s most admired companies and was named CEO of the year in 1998 by Chief Executive magazine. Accomplishments such as 31 consecutive quarters of earnings-per-share growth of 13 percent or more didn’t just happen; they resulted from the consistent practice of the discipline of execution: understanding how to link together people, strategy, and operations, the three core processes of every business.
Leading these processes is the real job of running a business, not formulating a “vision” and leaving the work of carrying it out to others. Bossidy and Charan show the importance of being deeply and passionately engaged in an organization and why robust dialogues about people, strategy, and operations result in a business based on intellectual honesty and realism.