The Relationship Between Non-profit CEOs & the Board Chair | Your Business
Board Chair and CEO meet weekly for planning, idea generation, general In some nonprofits, the board chair only votes to break a tie, which. Essential Elements of an Effective CEO-Board Relationship builds on the ongoing work of our global CEO and Board Services practice in. One of the “make or break” factors of nonprofit management is having a successful CEO and Board Chair relationship. However, how do we.
We discuss a whole range of things — personal and professional. My board chair is someone I trust to speak openly about my overall concerns or what my expectations are. She also provides me with that in return. Intentional focus on the work it takes to build and maintain a relationship: Like all good relationships, it starts with open, honest communication. I let her know when I'm worried about something and I share our successes.
We are intentional about keeping alive a culture of honesty so we can have frank discussions in a "safe space. Through our monthly lunches we ensure regular, open, honest, and direct communications. It all boils down to communicating on a regular basis which builds trust, not only in the partnership, but throughout the entire organization — Board and staff.
Just for Board Chairs If you are reading this because you were just elected board chair of a nonprofit, first: Congratulations for the recognition by your peers, and thanks for your service to the community.
Consider how hard it is for an executive director to hold the full board accountable, when the executive director is simultaneously accountable to the board. And in order for that to happen, the executive director has to be able to candidly, honestly, and fearlessly share concerns when it seems that the board is dragging its feet, distracted, or not engaged. You can do that by — among other things — making sure the board has time together outside the board room to get to know one another.
You will be respected as a leader when you show respect for your peers by making sure that all board members feel valued and have the opportunity to ask questions and share ideas during meetings. Therefore, the way in which these accountability roles are executed is crucial. Responsibilities should be performed in a way which is harmonious with the role of the other, and allows for consistent communication and cooperation in order to meet the ultimate accountability the organisation holds to its stakeholders.
The Board also sets discretionary financial and related operating limits for management, and regularly assesses activities of the organisation against the mission statement and goals, as well as annual business plans to ensure the organisation is meeting its original purposes.
These decision-making responsibilities should not be delegated, and the Board should always reserve all matters which have the potential to have a material impact on the reputation and financial stability of the organisation.
Therefore, directors ought to solely carry out the assessment of such statements and, in circumstances where an error is identified; they must then seek the advice of management and external advisors.
While it is noted that care should be taken when applying this decision outside of a financial reporting context, the case outlined the limitations of the extent to which directors can place reliance on management and external advisors in this realm of responsibility.
This is an example of a role which must be maintained by the Board. The decision-making role of the CEO is different. The CEO is responsible for carrying out and implementing the direction, goal and policies, which have been designed or created by the Board, and then reporting on operational outcomes.
It is also the responsibility of the CEO to ensure that everyone within the organisation is aware of the agreed strategic direction, goals and policies so that all are heading in the same direction.
How to Strengthen the Board Chair - CEO Relationship
CEO decision-making largely relates to the way in which it is best to practically implement those measurable objectives and goals developed by the Board. After all, the CEO will be responsible for implementing and monitoring these organisational policies. For example, if there is a need for an adequate program in the sector of the community that a non-profit organisation is serving, the CEO could propose a policy to the Board in order to address this policy gap.
It is then the role of the Board to decide whether this is a suitable use of organisational resources and, if so, hand it back to the CEO for implementation and management. Peter MacDougall outlines this critical issue.
The Board and the CEO Relationship
MacDougall has served multiple organizations as either the CEO or board chairman. Beginning inhe served as president of SBCC for 21 years, during which time the college grew in both size and prestige. If the relationship is healthy — i.
With the CEO and board chair functioning as a cohesive team, the critical tasks of an organization such as organizational planning; budget development and monitoring; program development and implementation; fundraising; and evaluation can be identified and processes designed to complete them in a timely manner. With such a relationship, board meetings can be focused on outcomes with meeting processes aligned to achieve them.
An organization served by such a leadership team is much more likely to achieve its objectives, and be recognized by its community as a credible entity worthy of support. If, however, the board chair and CEO lack a shared view of: Therefore, it is incumbent upon nonprofit organizations to be intentional about developing and fostering this critical CEO and board chair relationship.
Build a relationship of trust. Clear, direct and regular communication; follow-through in completing responsibilities on schedule; mutual support; commitment to the success of one another and the organization; and the timely resolution of issues and conflicts are behaviors the CEO and board chair should delineate and follow.
Such agreements on focus, and the successful implementation of these practices develops mutual confidence and trust.
The Relationship Between Non-profit CEOs & the Board Chair
There is also a need to clarify expectations that may exist for individual board members, and board and committee actions to attain those ends. Regular and effective communication.
- Insights into Great Relationships: Board Chairs and Executive Directors
- The Relationship Between Nonprofit CEO & the Board Chair
- How to Strengthen the Nonprofit Board Chair – CEO Relationship
Some examples of such communication follow.