Tuesday, July 9, 2013

What education do nonprofit board members need?

Earlier this week, an article from Miami Herald stated that a common theme among nonprofit board members and people pursued to serve as nonprofit board members is “the need for more education and information about what it takes to govern a nonprofit board.” The article suggested there are different issues that should be considered when addressing this particular educational need. The article listed the following seven issues:

1)    The ways in which a nonprofit is different from a for-profit;

2)    The key characteristics of a nonprofit;

3)    What makes an organization a nonprofit;

4)    Who owns a nonprofit;

5)    Who controls a nonprofit;

6)    What every nonprofit board member should know about serving; and

7)    To whom is the nonprofit organization accountable?   

The article gives a brief response to each issue. For example, the article explains that “what makes an organization a nonprofit” is that “[n]o person owns shares of the corporation or interest in its property” and it goes on to shed some light on the nondistribution constraint. Further, the article says every board member should know about the “serious fiduciary, legal and ethical responsibilities” involved.

While the article does not claim the list of seven issues to be an exhaustive one, is there anything missing from the list of issues presented? In other words, is there something else a currently serving or hopeful nonprofit board member should know to efficiently and effectively serve? Are any of the issues presented more significant than others?

http://www.miamiherald.com/2013/07/07/3489387/what-every-nonprofit-board-needs.html

dab

http://lawprofessors.typepad.com/nonprofit/2013/07/what-education-do-nonprofit-board-members-need.html

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