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.”

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


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. 

• 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?


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.

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