The Complementary Model of Board Governance

The Complementary Model of Board Governance

Many volunteers and staff have great difficulty accepting a policy-based approach to governing and managing their not-for-profit society. Some boards feel they will become “disconnected” from their organization because of the model’s emphasis on their role in policy development. At the same time, volunteers are increasingly demanding more meaningful roles in their not-for-profit organization (NPO) – whether the NPO is a charity, professional, trade or commercial association.

The Complementary Model allows governors to participate in the operation of their NPO without becoming “managers”. It allows volunteers to reconnect with their organization and still remain “governors”. In other words, it allows them to participate as well as govern.

This seminar describes the Complementary Model of Board Governance, which was created by Association Management Consultants’ President Tom Abbott, BCom, CGA, CAE. It provides important information about:

  • The contemporary role of volunteers and staff in policy development
  • The contemporary role of volunteers and staff in managing the association
  • Who should speak on behalf of the organization
  • The role of the volunteer Treasurer, the Secretary and the Executive Committee
  • What financial information should the governors receive
  • The difference between Policy Task Forces, Standing Committees and Working
  • Who directs the committees in the organization
  • Who directs the staff in the organization
  • Volunteer Codes of Conduct, Conflict of Interest Guidelines, Board and Director Appraisals Committees

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This seminar has received excellent reviews from attendees – an average satisfaction score of 3.79 out of 4. Participants’ comments included:

Clear presentation and clear concepts: very practical synopsis of how to apply concepts to reality.

The concept is clear and based on what is practical and achievable.

Excellent comprehensive review of the model: appreciated Workbook for notes/comments.


Length of workshop: 3.5 hours
What’s included: The Complementary Model Workbook and a copy of “The Complementary Model of Board Governance” book.

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