NOTE: resources are listed alphabetically. 

To see items listed by topic, click here.

101 Board Basics: What is Advocacy? A short monograph from BoardSource covering lobbying, the 501(h) election, political activity, partisan political campaign activity, and nonpartisan voter education.

2014 BoardSource Governance Survey Report - Leading with Intent  The full report of results of the most recent national biennial survey of nonprofit board chairs and executive directors. The most up-to-date compendium of information on nonprofit board policies, practices, and performance.

2014 BoardSource Report Infographic - Leading with Intent  Pictorial summary of key findings from the most recent national biennial survey of nonprofit board chairs and executive directors.

Abilene Paradox  Insightful article by Jerry Harvey. The paradox is about the way a group of reasonably sensible people collectively decide to do something that they each thought was a bad idea. The author maps the underlying psychological themes, suggests a possible Abilene bypass, and provides a diagnostic survey.

Advisory Councils - Nine Keys to Success  A short article from BoardSource; provides guidance to organizations that have advisory groups.

Being a Player: A Guide to the IRS Lobbying Regulation for Advocacy Charities  A 52 page resource that covers background law on lobbying limits, legislation and lobbying rules and exceptions, special rules, relationships among organizations, recording and accounting for lobbying activities, and seeking funding from private foundations. From the Alliance for Justice.

Board Assessment of the CEO  A useful, step-by-step guide for conducting an evaluation of an organization's chief executive.

Board Composition Matrix from the Colorado Nonprofit Association  One example of a useful tool that will help you develop a profile of your current board and identify gaps. Then you can work to identify, cultivate, and recruit people to fill the gaps, thereby strengthening the overall board. 

Board Fundraising Culture Assessment  A 15-question tool that covers the elements of a "fundraising culture" that can help boards identify rules, agreements, and traditons that govern its approach to fundraising. Can be used to foster discussion of practices, expectations, and policies.

Board Members and Personal Contributions  A short publication from BoardSource that could help leaders and board members understand the whys-and-wherefores of contribution expectations.

Board Orientation Chart  An outline of suggested topics for orientation of new board members. Can also be used by Governance Committee for ideas on refreshing the knowledge of the entire board. The list was developed by BoardSource and is on pages 36-37 of their publication, The Board Building Cycle, 2007.

Board Profile Worksheet from MAP  Another example of a board profile tool that will help you develop a profile of your current board and identify gaps. See the item above.

Board Responsibilities and Structures  This 8-page monograph from BoardSource includes the Basic Responsibilities of Nonprofit Boards.

BoardSource's Conflict of Interest Policy  Detailed discussion of conflict of interest; includes sample wording.

CEO's Role in Board Recruitment  Helps Governance Committee and CEO know how their roles interlock. From BoardSource.

Consent Agenda  Article by Dr. David O. Renz, Midwest Center for Nonprofit Leadership.

Departure-defined Succession Planning: The Seven Essential Elements for A Successful CEO Transition  Best practices illustrated by a community health clinic case; includes list of publications and tools.

Diversity in Action: A BoardSource Toolkit  Contains 19 tools designed to help your board increase its diversity and adopt the inclusive policies and practices that will create the culture needed to sustain your organization's commitment to diversity.

Exit Interviews  A guide from BoardSource on the inportant, but often ignored, opportunity to learn from directors going off the board.

Fiduciary Duties of a Director and Conflict of Interest  A detailed explanation of the Duties of Care, Loyalty, and Obediance as applied to members of a board of directors of a nonprofit corporation. Includes information on Conflict of Interest.

Finding and Selecting an Executive Search Firm A guide for small-to-midsize nonprofit organizations, written by a respected search firm.

Gift Acceptance Policies  Four sample Gift Acceptance Policies that can be individualized for your organization; from the Nonprofit Risk Management Center.

Individual Board Member Responsibilities From BoardSource, a list of typical expectations for board members.

Individual Board Member Self-evaluation  A short survey from BoardSource to help boards get started with individual self-evaluation.

Linked in as a resource for finding potential board members  An interview with the board development chair of the Red Cross of Silicon Valley.

Making Mission Matter  Stanford Social Innovation Review webinar slides; includes seven key characteristics of mission statements.

Mini Board Self-evaluation  A short survey from BoardSource to help boards get started with group-level self-evaluation.

Onboarding the New CEO A detailed article from Stanford Social Innovation Review full of examples of best practices for ensuring a new CEO's success.

Prospective Board Member Information Sheet   A useful form for collecting information about prospective board members, especially during the CULTIVATE step of the board building cycle. The form was developed by BoardSource and is on page 17 of their publication, The Board Building Cycle, 2007.

Recruitment Matrix  From BoardSource, a detailed board recruitment matrix; can be adapted to fit your organization.

Sample Board Member Agreement  From BoardSource, an example of a written agreement that specifies board member expectations, signed by the board member and the board chair.

Sample Board of Directors Performance Matrix  From BoardSource, a refreshing look at key performance indicators. Especially useful for Governance Committee.

Sample Governance Committee Job Description  Five primary responsibilities of governance committees.

Sample Whistleblower Policy   An example of a whistleblower policy from the National Council of Nonprofits. Adaptable to your organization.

Suggested Contents for Board of Directors Handbook  List of items for a board manual from the BoardSource publication, The Board Building Cycle, 2007, page 33.

Term Limits - Thumbs Up or Thumbs Down  From BoardSource, this short publication outlines the advantages and disadvantages of term limits. 

The Leadership in Leaving  This report is about making the decision to leave a long-term nonprofit leadership position by identifying the signs and planning the exit process. It emphasizes the importance of recognizing leaving as a leadership function.

Time for Organizational Renewal?   Some thoughts on personal and organizational remodeling. Includes a book recommendation.

Tips for Conference Calls  Includes suggestions both for participants and for facilitators.

Tips for Promoting Board Learning  Suggestions for board education topics and methods.