Event: Berkeley Board Fellows Kick-Off
Date: Monday, October 6
Location: International House
The Berkeley Board Fellows commenced its 2014-2015 program year with the annual Kick-Off event, which welcomed the 82 Fellows and 40 nonprofit organizations. Introducing the Berkeley Board Fellows to the attendees were guest speakers Dean Richard Lyons, David Riemer, and Paul Jansen. Paul spoke about the qualities of a highly effective (“Dynamic”) board of directors.
His talk included the 10 Things to Know about Your Nonprofit to ensure they are informed, engaged board members:
- Core activities – who, what, where, for how long?: What does the nonprofit do? Who does it try to help? What help does it try to deliver where and for how long?
- Mission, theory of change: What change is the nonprofit ultimately trying to achieve and what’s the strategy or set of activities it’s going to do to achieve that desired social outcome?
- Organization chart/profile of key leaders
- Revenue mix/trends: The phrase “No margin, no mission” has real meaning. Where does the nonprofit get its money – earned income, donated income, or income from government sources or contracts? Depending on the mix of revenues and sources, you can have a very different kind of nonprofit.
- Key cost components
- Board composition/committees: Who is on the board, and what are the committees of the board?
- Key peers/competitors: Who are the peer organizations who are the nonprofit’s competitors or collaborators?
- Other stakeholders, including regulators, government, funders: Who are the major donors, who else believe that they have a real interest, and who are the beneficiaries in the work of that nonprofit?
- Recent events/public profile: It’s worthwhile to do a Google search on nonprofit and find out what’s been written about it lately. It goes a long way towards understanding what the vibe might be in the board room.
- Results against mission