best practices for nonprofit governance committees

Nonprofit Governance Committees are a vital entity for many organizations as they focus their efforts on establishing policies and monitoring their success. Simple Governance Committee Best Practices are necessary for the creation, establishment, and growth of an organization, so we’ve collated the ultimate guide to best practices for nonprofit governance committees for your convenience.

4 Essential Roles of the Governance Committee

The governance committee is mainly responsible for 4 key things: board nominations, elections, board evaluations and training.

Here are the 4 Essential Role of the Governance Committee:

Board Nominations – Building Diverse Boards

One of the most important roles of a Nonprofit Governance Committee is filing vacancies on the board.

When it comes building a not-for-profit board, it’s essential to be mindful of recruiting the correct balance of independence, business specialization, technical skills, diversity and geographic representation (when relevant).

Today’s Governance Committees not only needs to consider diversity in skills of board members but also diversity in the characteristics that define an individual. This could involve diversity of age, gender, ethnicity, religion, sexual orientation, disability, and education.

Keep in mind that diversity isn’t just data. It’s a conscious effort to empower, respect, and appreciate what makes your board members different from one another and the benefits that brings to your organization.

Governance Committee: This committee is responsible for nominating board candidates, ensuring that the size, leadership, and composition of the board (and committees, as applicable) are appropriate, and overseeing governance structures and policies.

Guide To NonProfit Governance 2019

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Managing of the Election Process

When it comes to annual general meetings and recruiting new board members, this falls under the responsibility of the Governance Committee.

The Governance Committee is responsible for ensuring all of the available seats get filled by the right people, following the guidelines set out in the organization’s manual and bylaws.

Conduct Annual Board Evaluations

Annual Board Evaluations are critical. Don’t think of them as a criticism; instead, they’re a vital guide to let individuals and the organization know what they’re aiming for and if the goals of the role were met.

Board evaluations help highlight gaps in crucial skills and duties needed to fulfill a board member’s role. Whereas, Individual Board Member Performance Evaluations are equally critical in addressing engagement, skill gaps and clarifying their role and responsibilities.

Download our free Board Evaluation form to help you evaluate the effectiveness of your board.

Training of Board Members

The typical nonprofit board changes its members every 1 to 2 years. With the continual rotation of board members, the governance committee is responsible to make sure new board members get the training they need to fulfil their role effectively.

This training might include how to run effective meetings, the role of the chair at meetings, identifying conflict of interest and general governance best practices.

Final Thoughts On Governance Committee Best Practices For NPOs

Our roles and responsibilities of the Governance Committee are based on our governance model: The Complementary Model Of Board Governance. By following this model you’ll ensure that specific goals, achievements, and responsibilities are met by implementing good governance policies and structures.

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About Tom (TJ) Abbott

Tom (TJ) Abbott, CSP is the Managing Director of AMC NPO Solutions and an authority on Governance. He has over 25 years experience as CEO, President and board director of several not-for-profit organizations. Tom has also spoken in over 20 countries.

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