Our mail in late March brought a stark reminder. The Washington-based Chronicle of Philanthropy touted a new publication, “The Chronicle Board Report for Nonprofit Board Members and Their Executive Directors.” It addresses executive directors’ woes, such as feeling “burned out from shouldering too much of the fund-raising burden” and “stymied by boards that spend hours questioning small financial details.” The advertisement promises (with asterisks in the original) to show executive directors:
**How you (the executive director) can involve your board members in raising money. **How you can deploy their talents in support of your organizations. **How you can tap their knowledge and gain from their experience. **How you can get everyone on the same page, playing their role, acting in unison. **How you can unleash their full potential to help you attract more volunteers.” And finally:
In short, we’ll show you how you can inform and inspire your members in ways that multiply your efforts and free you to lead without worry.
This 104th issue of Board Leadership opens with an article in which I explain why state- or province-mandated tests of “student achievement” are an inappropriate measure of local school board effectiveness. In a related article, Miriam considers the familiar scenario in which a school board asks for public input on means-related minutiae, in order to have the stamp of public approval, rather than ask for input on the ends questions that are of legitimate public concern. In another article, I distinguish Policy Governance policies from those bearing some superficial resemblance. I answer two frequently asked questions: “Why is it wrong to say that the board makes ends decisions and the staff means decisions?” and “In Policy Governance writings and presentations, it is frequently said that the CEO should not be a voting board member. So why isn’t that included as a Policy Governance principle?” This issue’s Consider This quote comes from Stephen R. Covey.
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