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Tuesday, October 20, 2020

BONUS LESSON – Index to 40 Blogs

OUR FINAL BLOG! We hope you’ve found value for your board in More Lessons From the Nonprofit Boardroom Blog, this 40-week journey through the book, More Lessons From the Nonprofit Boardroom: Effectiveness, Excellence, Elephants! by Dan Busby and John Pearson. Over the last 40 Wednesdays, we've featured 40 guest bloggers and their favorite snippet from the week's topic. 

Here are some final thoughts from Dan and John—and a click-on menu of all 40 bloggers and 40 lessons—plus a bonus lesson by ECFA President Michael Martin on a free board self-assessment. And during this COVID-19 era, the role of the board becomes even more critical. We pray that your board will have God-honoring wisdom as you spiritually discern next steps.



CAUTIONS AND CATALYSTS! Index to the 40 Blogs
To address the elephant in the room, you must have the right board members in the room.

THE BIG IDEA FROM THE BOOK: As Busby and Pearson wrote in their introduction, “To address the elephant in the room, you must have the right board members in the room. Board service is not for the weak of heart. So in these lessons, you’ll find numerous alerts, cautions, and warnings: how to guard your CEO’s soul, insights on succession planning, the Governance Pendulum Principle, the dangers of botched executive sessions, and why résumé-builders make lousy board members.

“We pray that this book [and these blogs] will be a catalyst for your board to have numerous healthy conversations about effectiveness, excellence, and elephants. And we also salute you and thank you for accepting the sacred trust of ministry board service. God is honored.”

CLICK-ON INDEX TO ALL 40 LESSONS
ECFA is grateful to our 40 guest bloggers who shared their insights and color commentaries on all 40 lessons over the last 40 Wednesdays. Click on a relevant lesson for your board—and share the link with your board members today!

BONUS RESOURCE AND FREE ONLINE SURVEY
How Healthy Is Your Board? NonprofitBoardScore™ (Michael Martin)

PART 1: THE POWERFUL IMPACT OF HIGHLY ENGAGED BOARDS
1) Big Blessings Abound When Governance Faithfulness Flourishes (Wayne Pedersen)
2) Engage Board Members in Generative Thinking (Bruce Johnson)
3) The Productivity Payoff of Intentional Hospitality (Rick Alvis)
4) Guarding Your CEO’s Soul (Wes Willmer)

PART 2: BOARDROOM TOOLS AND TEMPLATES
5) Dashboards Are Not a Secret Sauce for Sound Governance (Reid Lehman)
6) Enhance Harmony by Clarifying Your Participant-Hat Expectations (Andy Bales
7) Eliminate Fuzziness Between Board and Staff Roles (Bill Gruenwald)
8) Design Your Succession Plan—NOW! (Bill Frisby)

PART 3: NOMINEES FOR THE BOARD MEMBER HALL OF FAME
9) Just Do One Thing a Month (Devlin Donaldson)
10) A Unanimous Choice for the Board Member Hall of Fame (Woody McLendon)
11) Thrive With Four Kingdom Values (Hal Habecker)
12) Keeping the Boardroom Afloat (Willie Nolte)

PART 4: EPIPHANIES IN THE BOARDROOM
13) Caution! Understand the Governance Pendulum Principle (Paul Anderson)
14) Plant a Seed in the Boardroom (Seng Tan)
15) Be Intentional About Your First 30 Minutes (David Schmidt)
16) Looking for Consensus but Finding Division (Max Wilkins)

PART 5: BOARDROOM BLOOPERS
17) Botched Executive Sessions Are Not Pretty (Philip Boom
18) Warning! Résumé-Builders Make Lousy Board Members (Gordon Flinn)
19) Beware the Phone-Book-Size Report (Dave Semmelbeck)

PART 6: BOARDROOM TIME-WASTERS, TROUBLEMAKERS, AND TRUTH-TELLERS
20) Don’t Be Late—or Annoying! (Dan Steiner)
21) Alert! The ER Factor Causes Value Extraction (Dan Bolin)
22) Whopper Mistakes Can Unravel Your Ministry (Kecia Klob)
23) The Bully in the Boardroom (Nate Parks

PART 7: BOARDROOM BEST PRACTICES
24) Should Most Standing Committees Stand Down? (Rebekah Basinger)
25) Compensating the CEO—It’s About More Than Money (Tom Okarma)
26) Big Rocks, Pebbles, and Sand (David Ingerson)
27) Address Absentee Board Member Syndrome (Tom Beaumont)
PART 8: BOARDROOM WORST PRACTICES
28) Defending Risks Everywhere Is Not a Strategic Plan (Mike Clabaugh)
29) The Two Enemies of Sound Board Decisions (Steve Moore
30) Are You Competing Based on Overhead—Really? (David Beroth
31) Where Two or Three Are Gathered on Social Media… (John Ashmen

PART 9: HOLY GROUND AND OTHER LOCATIONS
32) There Are Two Things You Should Never Joke About—#1: Prayer (Cameron Doolittle)
33) There Are Two Things You Should Never Joke About—#2: Fundraising (Jos Snoep)
34) Five Troublesome Misconceptions of Board Members (Bart Hadder)
35) Leverage the 80/20 Rule in the Boardroom (Hans Finzel

PART 10: BUILDING A 24/7 BOARD CULTURE
36) Watch Out for Boards Asleep at the Wheel (Steve Altick)
37) How Many Board Members Are Present in Your Boardroom? (Brian Heerwagen)
38) Seven Times When a Board Member Should Bid Adieu (Connie Salios)
39) Identify Your Key Assumptions (Ed McDowell)
40) You Made Me Better Than I Was (Steve Macchia)

 


MORE BLOG SERIES:
Inspire your board members to be lifelong learners in governance! Read and share these other blog series with your board:
 40 Blogs: Lessons From the Nonprofit Boardroom: 40 Insights for Better Board Meetings
 40 Blogs: Lessons From the Church Boardroom: 40 Insights for Exceptional Governance
 22 Blogs: ECFA Tools and Templates for Effective Board Governance: Time-Saving Solutions for Your Board
 And more blogs: ECFA Governance of Christ-Centered Organizations Blog 


BULK ORDERS: Click here. For more resources and to download the book's Table of Contents, visit the book's webpage.

Wednesday, October 14, 2020

BONUS LESSON: How Healthy Is Your Board?

Welcome to More Lessons From the Nonprofit Boardroom Blog, a 40-week journey through the new book, More Lessons From the Nonprofit Boardroom, by Dan Busby and John Pearson. Each Wednesday, we're featuring a guest writer’s favorite snippet from the week's topic. Michael Martin is our guest blogger this week for the bonus resource lesson, following the 40 lessons. And during this COVID-19 era, the role of the board becomes even more critical. We pray that your board will have God-honoring wisdom as you spiritually discern next steps.


BONUS LESSON: How Healthy Is Your Board?
Assessing your board’s performance is the first step to improving it.

THE BIG IDEA FROM THE BOOK: Nonprofit boards rarely take time to self-assess their governance performance. They either don’t realize they need to do so—or are too busy tackling whatever may be the most urgent agenda items that pop up whenever the next board meeting rolls around.

Instead, regularly investing in targeted self-assessments on the six key governance elements highlighted in the free NonprofitBoardScore™ tool by ECFA will pay dividends in increasing your board’s effectiveness!

MY FAVORITE INSIGHTS from Bonus Resource, pages 221-226: 
• As Rick Warren says, “The secret to effectiveness is to know what really counts, then do what really counts, and not to worry about all the rest.”
 Don’t underestimate the power of intentionality in your board work—clear agendas, Board Policies Manual, Prime Responsibility Chart, 80/20 focus on strategy, and more!
 Progress starts only when you are clear on where you are right now. You may discern that the board is under-performing in a certain area, but until the board has a laser focus on the problem, it will be difficult to take action.”

MY COLOR COMMENTARY: 
Nonprofit boards are increasingly using the NonprofitBoardScore™ self-assessment. It gives leaders an opportunity (and excuse!) to enter into much-needed discussion together about ways the board could collectively improve in the six critical governance areas. I’m so grateful a transformative tool like this now exists and is free to nonprofits everywhere!

Whatever you do, don’t miss this bonus lesson that provides an incredible capstone learning experience from all the great wisdom shared by Dan and John in More Lessons from the Nonprofit Boardroom

THIS WEEK’S QUOTES & COMMENTARY BY MICHAEL MARTIN:


MICHAEL MARTIN became president of ECFA in 2020. Both an attorney and a CPA, he had previously served on ECFA staff for nine years, most recently as Executive Vice President.

An accomplished communicator, Michael has written on both scholarly and popular levels. His authorship is probably best known from the annual Minister's Tax & Financial Guide and the Church and Nonprofit Tax & Financial Guide, both of which he co-authored with former ECFA President Dan Busby, beginning with the 2013 editions. The 30th annual edition will be released in January 2021.

Michael is passionate about helping churches and Christ-centered ministries maintain high standards of financial integrity through ECFA membership, as well as through addressing legal and tax-related issues. He is a frequent speaker on ECFA’s webinars, videos, and podcasts, as well as a regular contributor to ECFA’s library of ebooks and other written publications.

He has spoken at numerous conferences and workshops across the country, and he has served as guest on webinars, videos and podcasts for numerous Christ-centered ministries and churches. Michael lives in Winchester, Virginia, with his wife and three daughters. 

TO DO TODAY:
• Click here to visit the NonprofitBoardScore™ self-assessment and complete the free survey.
 Email the link for this easy-to-use board self-assessment to all your board members—and inspire them to complete the survey also. Then compare your results and agree on next steps for improving your God-honoring governance.
 Visit the ECFA Knowledge Center and read and share the short chapter, “How Healthy Is Your Board?

 


NEXT WEDNESDAY: 
On Oct. 21, 2020, watch for the final blogpost of this series and the convenient index to all 41 blogs and guest bloggers.


BULK ORDERS: Click here. For more resources and to download the book's Table of Contents, visit the book's webpage.

Wednesday, October 7, 2020

LESSON 40 – You Made Me Better Than I Was

Welcome to More Lessons From the Nonprofit Boardroom Blog, a 40-week journey through the new book, More Lessons From the Nonprofit Boardroom, by Dan Busby and John Pearson. Each Wednesday, we're featuring a guest writer’s favorite snippet from the week's topic. Stephen A. Macchia is our guest blogger this week for the fifth of five lessons in "Part 10: Building a 24/7 Board Culture.” And during this COVID-19 era, the role of the board becomes even more critical. We pray that your board will have God-honoring wisdom as you spiritually discern next steps.













LESSON 40 OF 40: You Made Me Better Than I Was
Board experiences should leave all participants better than they were.

THE BIG IDEA FROM THE BOOK: In Lesson 40, the authors remind us that what matters most about all Christian nonprofit boards is the quality of their relationships. It’s their social capital that brings out the best of each member of the team, the team as a whole, and the ministry they serve together. When relationships lead board members into friendships with one another, their shared effectiveness deepens, grows, and flourishes exponentially. 

Just like in all healthy marriages, families, and friendships, so too in small groups, teams, communities, churches, and boards—we all share the same priority: relationships. And yet it’s so easy to lose sight of this big idea when we are engaged in meaningful work and get caught up in the structure, strategy, and service of our nonprofit.

Such a fitting conclusion to a powerful text. Relationships matter. They bring out our best when nurtured and strengthened around the board table. Each member and the entire board is better as a result.  

MY FAVORITE INSIGHTS from Lesson 40, pages 217-220: 
• “The goal of every board should be to create an atmosphere where the board is better than it was before.”
• “The CEO and the board chair are ‘to set the tone for good relationships, but it is up to every individual on the board to develop, nurture, and polish good relationships.’” (Max De Pree)
 “Grant us the joy of arriving at adjournment closer to one another because we are closer to You.” (Dan Bolin)

MY COLOR COMMENTARY: 
It’s so easy to fall into functional relationships as boards. For multiple reasons, we focus more on the tasks at hand, desirous of being effective and productive, and ultimately assume that our relationships will form around our mission and service. But, when we don’t take the time to get to know one another as friends of God and friends of one another, we miss the joy of true and lasting relationships. 

Boards need to be filled with opportunities to share the state of our soul, the quality of our broader lives (beyond the board), and the needs of those for whom we love and serve. Learning how to share from the heart, listen attentively, and respond compassionately are relationship basics that serve boards well. 

The 50+ “one anothers” of the Scriptures (love one another, encourage one another, pray for one another, etc.) provide the best commentary for how boards are to build relationships. Only then will we be “with” one another, and also “for” one another as a board. Watch how your board flourishes when the quality of your friendships leads to laughter, tears, stories, and prayer—some of the best evidences of God in the center of your relationships.

THIS WEEK’S QUOTES & COMMENTARY BY STEPHEN A. MACCHIA:

STEPHEN A. MACCHIA is the founder and president of Leadership Transformations, Inc. and the director of the Pierce Center for Disciple-Building at Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary. He is the author of 15 books, including the Baker bestseller Becoming A Healthy Church, Crafting a Rule of Life (IVP), and Broken and Whole (IVP). Steve is on Facebook, Instagram, and LinkedIn. 

TO DO TODAY:
• List the names of your fellow board members and write down what you know of their personal lives. Note the gaps in your awareness and reach out to those for whom you desire more information about their family, vocation, hobbies, and interests. 
 Become a catalyst for ever-deepening friendships around your board table. Encourage your CEO and board chair to take time each meeting for personal sharing and prayer for one another. Note the ways in which relationships become central to your effectiveness.
 Visit the ECFA Knowledge Center and read and share the short chapter, Lesson 40, “You Made Me Better Than I Was.”

 


NEXT WEDNESDAY: 
On Oct. 14, 2020, watch for the commentary by Michael Martin, ECFA President, on the Bonus Lesson, “How Healthy Is Your Board? Assessing your board’s performance is the first step to improving it.” 


BULK ORDERS: Click here. For more resources and to download the book's Table of Contents, visit the book's webpage.

BONUS LESSON – Index to 40 Blogs

OUR FINAL BLOG! We hope you’ve found value for your board in More Lessons From the Nonprofit Boardroom Blog , this 40-week journey through t...