Universe of Information
Stored in this Portal
Bob Library of
- Personal and professional goals achievement
- Improved personal leadership, including work / life balance
- Increased accountability and focus
- Improved self-awareness and perspective
- Growth in leadership competency and capacity
- Better systems for priority management
A Policy manual is a cornerstone of good governance and board orientation. The manual nearly eliminates a volunteer asking, "how was I supposed to know that?" These statements pass along the wisdom of the board to future leaders, assist staff in administration, record desired outcomes, and establish values or principles for the organization. They form an historical record upon which future leaders can rely.
Policies are the collective wisdom of the board; passed on to future leaders. Policies interpret the bylaws and articles of incorporation; which are purposely broad in scope. Without a policy manual, staff must search decades of meeting minutes to find what and why decisions were made. Future leaders will rehash discussions by previous boards because they don't have access to policies.
There is no single authority for how associations operate. Every nonprofit and its board are unique. They are influenced by culture, resources, scope and member expectations, for example. While rigid guidelines don’t exist, some processes are better than others. Here are examples of MISGUIDED PRACTICES regarding minutes, board meetings and consent agendas.
Now I've got them, what do I do with them?
Last week a member of the board of directors gave his meeting packet to a local chapter president. It included the parent organization’s proposed budget, roster of dropped members and confidential contract proposals. When asked why, he said, “We’re nonprofit, we have to share the information with members.”
Policy Development Errors
7 Errors in Developing Policies - Avoid these errors as the board delves into policy development.
Organizations plan an annual retreat to empower the board of directors with information and inspiration. Retreats are designed to transfer information to the leadership. The schedule may include time for recreational activities or team building. While every retreat is well-intentioned, when I ask volunteers what they expect to gain from the meeting they reply, "I hope we get to know each other better." Their expectations are low.
Many associations maintain a subsidiary or related foundation. The majority are educational with the mission reading: “Supporting professional development, scholarship and research.” Some of these foundations are dormant or underperforming. Does the pandemic open the door to repurpose your foundation?