NANOE board members are provided honorariums for their expert service to the charitable sector. Though compensating directors is a controversial idea it’s one worth considering. Take a second and PRESS THE VIDEO PLAY BUTTON BELOW to see what happens when NANOE’s President, Louis Fawcett, pays his board members.
After you’ve watched this video (produced by the National Association of Nonprofit Organizations & Executives) you’ll see that there’s more going on here than honoring board members with remuneration. If you’ll read between the lines you can see what’s really happening. First, NANOE board members are experts in their respective fields. Second, NANOE board size is small. Third, NANOE board members support the CEO’s vision.
First, board members should all be experts. Before I go further take a look at the board member types listed below that ensure an organization fails:
1. Boards formed by people affected by an issue (e.g., parents of kids with cancer)
2. Boards who insist that current clients serve as voting members
3. Boards who have been formed by program participants
4. Boards with members who were invited to join because of social status or popularity
5. Boards who have secured members based on need for diversity
6. Boards made up of members on a crusade
7. Boards comprised of service providers
8. Boards with members who live out of town
9. Boards comprised of pastors
10. Boards comprised of members with emotional disorders
11. Boards whose members don’t attend meetings
12. Boards comprised of other nonprofit executives
13. Boards with members who were secured because they’re rich
14. Boards with members who are incompetent
What’s the alternative? Here’s how NANOE does it. The STRONG CEO is named chair of the nominations committee and fills these SIX EXPERT POSITIONS (yes, you only need six [plus]):
1. Business Expert (Chair) Entrepreneur
2. Program Expert (Secretary) Specific
3. Finance Expert (Treasurer) Accountant
4. Legal Expert (Member) Lawyer
5. Communications Expert (Member) PR/Marketer
6. Nonprofit Expert (Member) Consultant
7. Plus (as needed) (Member) Consultant
Second, how many people do you need on a board? Working group theory states that any “working group” with more than seven people is no longer a group that works! Downsize your board. Making decisions by committee is a nightmare. NANOE names the CEO chair of the nominations committee and have him/her build their own board team by hiring six leaders from the community and paying them a generous honorarium per meeting for their excellent board craft. Let’s let nonprofit CEOs build their own leadership team. The charitable sector doesn’t have a prayer otherwise.
Third, NANOE board members support the CEO’s Vision. IT’S NEVER ABOUT THE BOARD’S VISION. Why? Because the board isn’t responsible to do the daily work of implementing it. Smart board members hire a Strong CEO who bring them a heroic mission of scale that takes their breath away. Organizations that demonstrate a measurable return on-investment in financial capacity-building are led by extraordinary executives (CEOs/Presidents/Executive Directors). These executives possesses specific attitudes, beliefs, and skills sets and take personal responsibility for project implementation and outcomes.
The greatest contribution BOARDS CAN MAKE TO THE NONPROFIT SECTOR is to do whatever it takes to attract, pay and empower STRONG CEOs.
NANOE, in partnership with Clemson University, performed a study using a clinical sample of 470 executive directors who participated in a 90 question survey regarding capacity building. The focus of the study was to investigate the relationship between the efficacy of capacity building and the intentions of the organization’s leadership to embark upon capacity building. This was a necessary behavioral study, in that previous works failed to show any empirical data regarding the relationship between a nonprofit’s ABILITY TO BUILD CAPACITY and the actual return on the investment made in time, human resource, and monies spent on capacity building.
Here’s what we discovered regarding a nonprofit’s ability to build capacity:
1. Lack of Return-On-Investment
The majority of organizational development/capacity-building investments made by foundations, corporations, or individuals have failed to produce lasting changes in the operations/infrastructure of nonprofits
that attempted to build capacity.
2. NANOE Organizations did build capacity
Organizations that were successful at demonstrating a measurable return on investment in capacity building were led by extraordinary executives (CEOs/Presidents/EDs) These executives possessed specific attitudes, beliefs, and skills sets. They also took personal responsibility for project implementation and outcomes.
3. What Successful NANOE CEOs Accomplished
- They built more capacity over a five year period than those nonprofits who indicated they stagnated or declined during the same time period
- They grew budget, programs & donors, despite the recession.
- They grew their nonprofits regardless of the size or involvement of their board.
- They externalized the mission of their organization for the purpose of fundraising.
- They developed board members who evaluated the chief executive and promoted the goals and values of the CEO.
So, as I shared earlier. Read between the lines to see what happens when NANOE board members DO WHAT IS RIGHT. See what happens when they are treated with the honor and respect they deserve.
NANOE, a 501(c)3 corporation, has unveiled a new and growing set of capacity-building “best practices” that empower nonprofits in ways previously thought to be impossible. These approved techniques are based on field tested university research and have been peer-reviewed by NANOE Governors during NANOE’s Convention & Expo. They have been designed for leaders who have a passion to grow their mission. For more information on NANOE’s Board of Governors’ Convention & Expo please visit our Events Page.
NANOE is the only nationwide membership organization in the U.S. for executives seeking credentials in the art of nonprofit capacity-building. Practitioners who hold a prestigious NANOE credential are “best practice” experts who grow charitable enterprise and discover new ways to advance the common good. For more information on CNE, CDE & CNE credentialing please visit our Credentials Page.
Ultimately, NANOE members believe that “innovation never fears a challenge” and that the greatest contribution nonprofit practitioners can make to charity is to become the creative enterprise-leaders our sector so desperately needs. For more information on how you can join please visit our Membership Page.
NANOE Board Members Being Paid CAUGHT ON VIDEO was written by Jimmy LaRose author of RE-IMAGINING PHILANTHROPY and co-founder of the National Association of Nonprofit Organizations & Executives (NANOE). Please visit here to read the article “Jimmy LaRose Confronts Nonprofit Board Structures” for further insight into empowering your nonprofit.