Recruit, Train, Build Capacity
Roles and Responsibilities
Boards of Directors form the essential core of nonprofit governance, yet board membership can be bewildering. It is often the case that individuals are asked (and agree) to serve on not-for-profit boards without a clear understanding of the organizational or legal expectations that accompany the position. Initial training and periodic refreshers are essential for effective board function.
Board Development Plan
Beyond knowledge of the basics, the work of a board benefits from consideration of a range of governance issues. As examples, some of these are board size and composition, recruitment and training plans, and creation of a self-evaluation plan. Additionally, the process of identifying metrics for inclusion in an organizational “dashboard” is a good exercise for helping the board better understand what is important to the organization. Outfitters4 can assist in each of these areas.
Develop and Support
After hiring, a principal responsibility of the board of directors is to help the CEO maximize their potential. This includes providing access to professional development opportunities and performance reviews that give feedback and affirmation. (See Leadership Evaluation Services)
The CEO of a 501(c)(3) must know much about many disparate things. Some of these are only learned through experience. A mentoring relationship with a professional of long standing can shorten the learning curve dramatically. Outfitters4 can provide experienced mentors to assist in the learning process. They can also serve as invaluable sounding boards for Executive Directors facing management challenges.
Transform Uncertainty into Opportunity
Whether it is planned over a period of months or it is a sudden change, the departure of an Executive Director/CEO (ED/CEO) is difficult for any organization. Decision-making and planning tend to stall; yet operations, fundraising, and programming must continue while recruiting a new ED/CEO. Staff, board, and even donors may become anxious or skeptical about the future of the organization, creating a climate of uncertainty.
The transition to new leadership actually presents an opportunity for self-assessment and real growth. Outfitters4 can provide leadership (including our Transition Leaders as alternatives to the traditional interim director approach), guidance, opportunity for reflection, and support for management functions that pave the way for the new ED/CEO. In particular, the mission clarification and organizational systems assessment work O4 conducts can make the organization more attractive to candidates for the position.
Leadership Evaluation Services
Painless (relatively), Cost-Effective Board and CEO Performance Reviews.
Board of Directors
Assessment of Board function, conducted annually, is a good tool for ensuring effectiveness. Outfitters4 provides simple options for assessing both the Board as a whole and for assessing individual Board members based on self-selected criteria. O4 will guide your Board and help it establish goals for the Board as a whole and for individual Board members in categories they jointly establish. An automated online survey process means that evaluation becomes a dependable annual occurrence.
A Board responsibility critical to the health and effectiveness of the organization is support of the Chief Executive Officer. It is also one that the Board owes to its CEO. Yet Boards have a tendency to avoid reviews due to fear, uncertainty, or inertia. Outfitters4 can provide organizations and their CEO’s a template for establishing annual goals and conducting 360° evaluation surveys. The results of those surveys can then be used as the basis for the evaluation meeting.
A Solution to the "First ED" Conundrum: Part Time Salaries Don't Buy Much Experience or Expertise
New organizations usually need an executive director well before they have the resources to hire the right one. Outfitters4 can provide access to a seasoned professional to provide organizational leadership. The shared executive can also oversee O4’s management support services, giving you access to operational assistance until you can afford to hire a full-time experienced professional.