Boardsource has recently completed its Nonprofit Governance 2007 Index with survey results from over 1000 board members and 1100 chief executives who completed separate questionnaires. I plan to have 2 - 3 posts on the report and here is the first one:
Overall, both CEOs and Board Members give themselves good marks on understanding the mission and providing legal and financial oversight. They get lower grades on such crucial aspects of board service as fundraising, strategic planning and community relations.
The most pressing issues facing nonprofits were by far financial sustainability, fundraising and strategy.
Some of the most basic fundraising statistics for board members were shocking to me - I thought they would be much higher - especially among a Boardsource population. Here they are:
46% Charities have a 100% participation in personal giving
74% Average giving among Board Members
68% Charities that require Board Members to give
#1 Fundraising is the number one thing needing improvement by the Board
In my board development workshops I always stress that all board members should make a personal financial commitment and how important this is on grant applications and as an example for all other giving. How can you be passionate about an organization's mission (the number one requirement for board service) and not make a personal financial commitment to it? Now I understand why some people look at me like I must be kidding or a modern day Pollyanna. Folks, if you are interested in fundraising get your own house in order first!
It was interesting to note that most boards have people with the traditionally desired skills of business management, finance, legal and experience in field related to the organization's mission. Only 30% have board members who have technology experience. This is a big OUCH! for me as I have seen first hand how much people with these skills bring to an organization - by helping to assess the needs and benefits, helping to design a request for proposal and evaluate bids, donor database and website evaluation and more, more, more. I urge you to consider seeking people with technology backgrounds for your boards as this really is a valued board skill today.
Check back soon for more on the Boardsource Nonprofit Governance 2007 Index and, of course, my commentary about the results.
Link to full report at BoardSource
Marion Conway Consulting