TLC staff meeting Photo by Theo Rigby

Advancing Good Governance

How grantmakers are helping strengthen untapped resources: nonprofit boards

This BoardSource study looks at how foundations and nonprofits are focusing more on boards as a critical resource in building organizational effectiveness.

Quick … What do you think of when you encounter the term “nonprofit leader?" You probably think of an executive director of a nonprofit organization, right? Well, there’s a whole other, often-forgotten category of leaders in this sector: nonprofit board members. And a growing number of foundations are working with grantees and others to try and ensure that nonprofit boards have what they need to be effective.

A new BoardSource study, Advancing Good Governance: How Grantmakers Invest in the Governance of Nonprofit Organizations, surveys the field to find out what grantmakers are doing to support stronger boards. The report makes the case for investing in governance and provides grantmakers with models, ideas and questions that will help them develop an approach that matches their unique interests and priorities.

The BoardSource study was funded with grants from the Evelyn and Walter Haas, Jr. Fund and the W.K. Kellogg Foundation and includes a foreword written by the Fund’s Linda Wood. “The Haas, Jr. Fund is committed to strengthening the leadership of nonprofits,” said Wood, “so they can achieve their goals for social change as effectively as possible.” The Fund’s Flexible Leadership Award (FLA) program, which is profiled in the BoardSource study, provides selected nonprofits with the support and resources they need to develop customized leadership development programs for both boards and staff.