Governance & Strategic Leadership

In this category you will assess your organization in the following three areas: strategic leadership, board roles and responsibilities, and board structure and operations. Listed below are the various standards within the main areas of Governance & Strategic Leadership. For a more in-depth overview of this category we encourage you to listen to the short video located in the right hand corner of this page.

Improving Leadership & Governance in Nonprofit Organizations

 

More Effective Leadership

When referring to an ‘organization’s leadership’, we mean the board, ED and senior management.

and GovernanceRefers to the source of strategic thinking and decisions that shape and direct an organization and its work and where, ultimately, accountability lies. Includes anything related to non‐profit boards as well as strategic leadership issues. for Nonprofit Organizations

This course introduces you to the nonprofit sector

Used broadly to define a group or cluster of agencies that share some commonality. Here ‘the sector’ refers to community based agencies that serve immigrants and refugees in Ontario. Other relevant sectors include the broader non‐profit sector (sometimes referred to as the voluntary sector), and the community social services sector.

, nonprofit organizations, and the concepts of leadership and governance. While this course has been developed with North American culture in mind, we do appreciate that in other parts of the world the nature of the nonprofit sector, nonprofit organizations, nonprofit leadership and governance may not be the same. Nevertheless, it is our hope that much of the course content will still be of value to those in other parts of the world. To learn more about this course, please watch the overview video by copying and pasting the following link into your web browser: https://goo.gl/Lvhdqi. Keywords: Nonprofit; Nonprofit Sector; Voluntary Sector; Nonprofit Organizations, Non-Governmental Organizations, Volunteer Organizations, Leadership, Management

Includes an organization’s Executive Director and managers, but not staff or supervisors. See also definition for “staff.”

, Governance, BoardYour board of directors provides governance to your organization., Board of Directors

A group of people who are legally charged to oversee the operations of a non‐profit organization. There are a number of different types of boards, including:

Working Board: Board members attend to strategic matters in addition to working with staff to carry out the mission; usually characteristic of newly established organization or ones driven by volunteers (also known as an Operational Board or Management Board).

Membership (Representative) Board: There is a clear link between the board and the service users, with board members being clients and employers at the same time.

Policy Board: This model distinguishes between the board and Executive Director role. The Executive Director provides operational leadership in managing the organization to fulfil its mission, while the board focuses primarily on strategic matters and ensuring responsiveness to community stakeholders.

Collective Board: Board members and staff share equal responsibility in deciding upon strategic matters and carrying them out. They emphasize equality and power sharing.

Corporate or Entrepreneurial Board: There is an emphasis on innovation, with a focus on efficiency and effectiveness measures that push the organization to achieve a maximum result on its investments.

Institutional Board: When the organization is very mature, with all the systems in place to run efficiently and effectively, the Institutional Board tends to exist primarily to raise funds.

, Performance, Effectiveness

Governance models, board types or best practices?

The most successful boards, within this framework, develop a collaborative partnership with senior management

Includes an organization’s Executive Director and managers, but not staff or supervisors. See also definition for “staff.”

; seek agreement between key stakeholders on vision, values

Values are ideals, standards, or qualities considered worthwhile or desirable. See also “principles,” which are often shaped by values.

, goals and expectations (tempered by the reality of available resources); ensure clarity with respect to roles and responsibilities; establish constructive processes for resolution of conflicts and conflict of interest; and cultivate an organizational culture characterized by trust, teamwork, mutual respect, flexibility, adaptability, and responsiveness in the face of the ever-changing realities, resources and needs of consumers.

Mel Gill is president of Synergy Associates<, Consultants in GovernanceRefers to the source of strategic thinking and decisions that shape and direct an organization and its work and where, ultimately, accountability lies. Includes anything related to non‐profit boards as well as strategic leadership issues. and Organizational Development

A process through which an organization increases its capacity to successfully pursue its mission. This can include collaboration to create organizational change, to enhance organizational health, and to improve staff satisfaction and effectiveness.

, and the author of Governing for Results: A Director's Guide to Good Governance. Contact him atmel.gill@synergyassociates.ca<.

Evaluating the Performance of an Organization

Evaluating the Performance of an Organization

An organisational assessment is a systematic process for obtaining valid information about the performance of an organisation and the factors that affect performance.  It differs from other types of evaluations because the assessment focuses on the organisation as the primary unit of analysis. 

How to Evaluate your Organization

HOW TO EVALUATE YOUR ORGANIZATION

The purpose of this manual is to provide your organization with the tools and necessary understanding to undertake a self-evaluation. The manual outlines certain standards

Desired and achievable levels of performance against which actual performance can be compared. Standards help to bolster public confidence, promote transparency and accountability, enhance performance and effectiveness, and help organizations achieve their mission, improve their practices, and educate board and staff about good practices.

of excellence or “best practices

Best Practices / Good Practices / Promising Practices

Ways of working that are acknowledged as effective and deserving of emulation.

” in seven key areas. These have to do with an organization’s: 1. Commitment 2. Institutional GovernanceRefers to the source of strategic thinking and decisions that shape and direct an organization and its work and where, ultimately, accountability lies. Includes anything related to non‐profit boards as well as strategic leadership issues. 3. Educational Environment & Methodology 4. Organizational Structure

Organizations can be divided into three major areas that help it to fulfill its mission: governance, work and management (Grant & Crutchfield, 2007). Governance is the source of strategic decisions that shape the organization and its work and where, ultimately, accountability lies. Work refers to the implementation of activities and tasks that must get done to fulfill the organization’s mission. Management is the link between governance and work and includes the day‐to‐day direction of tasks, people, relationships, finances, and technology to get the job done. Organizational structure refers to these 3 areas and how they interact/work together to accomplish an organization’s mission.

and Management

Includes an organization’s Executive Director and managers, but not staff or supervisors. See also definition for “staff.”

5. Administration and Finances 6. Human resources 7. Impact You will be asked several leading questions to help you assess where your organization stands in relation to these standards of excellence. The discrepancies you find between these standards and the reality in your organization will point to areas for future improvement.  

Top 20 Compliance Issues for Canadian Charities

 Free CharityVillage Webinar: 

This recorded webinar, presented by Mark Blumberg<, provides plain language information and resources about the compliance obligations of Canadian registered charities. It also covers the top Canada Revenue Agency concerns for Canadian registered charities.

Diversifying the Board

The most important ingredient to the success of boardYour board of directors provides governance to your organization. diversity, however, would most probably be the board members’ changing their mindset to welcome a more heterogeneous board, as well as to place greater trust in one another and work together more effectively.

BENEFITS OF BOARD DIVERSITY

Diversifying the board is said broadly to have the following benefits:  More effective decision making.  Better utilisation of the talent pool.  Enhancement of corporate reputation and investor relations by establishing the company as a responsible corporate citizen. 1. More

Nonprofit Governance and the Work of the Board

GovernanceRefers to the source of strategic thinking and decisions that shape and direct an organization and its work and where, ultimately, accountability lies. Includes anything related to non‐profit boards as well as strategic leadership issues. is a central and essential dimension in the leadership

When referring to an ‘organization’s leadership’, we mean the board, ED and senior management.

of nonprofit organizations, and the boards of directors that engage in the work of governance are central to the success of the organizations they serve. This chapter provides a basic overview of the nature and scope of a typical nonprofit organization’s governance processes, including the basic ways that boards of directors typically will provide the leadership and direction to their organizations, and explains the ways that these roles can have an important impact on the success of the organization. This document includes the following topics:

What is governance? 

Governance, strategy, and leadership

Boards of directors 

The Legal Duties of the Board

 The Core Responsibilities of the Board

 

Read more: http://bloch.umkc.edu/mwcnl/resources/documents/overview-nonprofit-governance.pdf

Leadership and Networks

This report is written for those who run and fund leadership

When referring to an ‘organization’s leadership’, we mean the board, ED and senior management.

programs that develop and support leadership for social change. It shares many examples of how leaders using network strategies are increasing the impact of social change work (p. 3). The report provides examples of leadership models, values

Values are ideals, standards, or qualities considered worthwhile or desirable. See also “principles,” which are often shaped by values.

, skills, and behaviours needed to embrace network strategies, and recommends practical things you can do to develop network capacities (p. 8) and a network mindset (p. 10).

Non-profit Governance Models: Problems and Prospects

The paper characterizes existing governanceRefers to the source of strategic thinking and decisions that shape and direct an organization and its work and where, ultimately, accountability lies. Includes anything related to non‐profit boards as well as strategic leadership issues. models along two dimensions: established vs. innovative and unitary vs. pluralistic. It also provides a way to map current perspectives according to four different models; the Policy Governance model, the Entrepreneurial model, the Constituency model and the Emergent Cellular model.  It also briefly describes the characteristics of each model and outlines the positive and negative features of each. It concludes by describing a new hybrid model which embraces the strengths of each model and also capitalizes on some of the new ways of framing management

Includes an organization’s Executive Director and managers, but not staff or supervisors. See also definition for “staff.”

in turbulent times.

Bradshaw, P., and Hayday B., (1998) Non-profit Governance Models: Problems and Prospects The Innovation Journal: The Public Sector

Used broadly to define a group or cluster of agencies that share some commonality. Here ‘the sector’ refers to community based agencies that serve immigrants and refugees in Ontario. Other relevant sectors include the broader non‐profit sector (sometimes referred to as the voluntary sector), and the community social services sector.

Innovation Journal, Volume 12(3), 2007, article 5.

Risk Management A Guide for Non-profit and Charitable Organizations

The objective of this planning guide is to help managers and boardYour board of directors provides governance to your organization. volunteers to better understand the importance of risk management

Risk management involves examining a situation and 1) identifying what can go wrong, 2) identifying measures to avoid such problems, and 3) if something does go wrong, identifying steps that can be taken to lessen the negative impact. These measures may include the use of policies, procedures, and protections (such as insurance or education). Risks can be related, for example, to financial loss, workplace safety issues including abuse & physical harm or injury, property damage, or loss of reputation.

and to learn how to implement risk management policies and procedures into their organization. These practices include obtaining insurance coverage for volunteers; screening volunteers to protect clients

This term is used here to refer to the service-users that organizations work for and with and provide services to. We have chosen to use clients because of its common currency and ease of use, while acknowledging that it may unintentionally connote a particular ideology of patronage or a purely financial transactional relationships between organizations and the people they serve.

from harm; developing board orientation and training materials; developing strong employment practices; and implementing policies and procedures that protect the organization.

 

Bertrand N. and Brown L. (2006) Risk Management A Guide for Non-profit and Charitable Organizations Imagine Canada

 

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