I am proud to be a contributor to You and Your Nonprofit Board: Advice and Practical Tips from the Field’s Top Practitioners, Researchers, and Provocateurs The book is published by Charity Channel Press and edited by Terrie Temkin. Here at Nonprofit Capacity Building I’d like to give a high level overview of this important publication. You can also see what I’ve had to say at my blog – Marion Conway – Nonprofit Consultant.
Terrie Temkin, a perfectionist editor (I can definitely confirm that) edited and organized an excellent anthology of practical, conversationally-written articles which present fresh ideas. Every article will make you feel like – “I think I’ll try that – It’s a great idea and I can do it.” It is far from a basic handbook and it will be of value to both new and experienced board members and executive directors. I am honored to be chosen as a contributor among this well respected cadre of contributors.
The book is divided into three sections entitled:
- Governance Today
- Making it Work
- Myths and Madness
Terrie begins the book with a one pager “Getting the Most Out of this Book.” She opens each section and chapter with a brief overview which will help you make your reading choices. She acknowledges the contributors this way “Each of the contributors is a governance expert in his or her own right. Each brings solid experience in the nonprofit sector, along with a unique perspective and a hunger for continuous learning.” Her wish for the book is that it inspire discussion and action. The book does NOT offer prescriptions and rules rather the articles offer ideas and approaches that have been tested and can be implemented. You can expand them and adapt them to your own organization. The ideas are not just for large organizations – small organizations (my forte) will find plenty of ideas that will work for them.
One of my favorite features of this book is the layout. Each article has been well written and edited so that although there are 38 contributors there is a cohesive feel. There are plenty of examples and short boxes throughout which provide food for thought, definitions, principles, quotes, examples and practical tips.
The whole gamut of board issues is covered from “A Blue Ribbon Nominating Committee for your Board” by Jan Masaoka to “Act Your Age: Organizational Life Cycles and How They Impact Your Board” by Mike Burns to “Don’t Just Whack“Em and Plaque“Em” with an excellent example for an exit interview of Board members by Carol Weisman.
I chose to submit an article that I have written about on my blog. It is entitled “Exercising Board Leadership with Social Media” and started out as a slightly changed composite of existing blog articles at Marion Conway – Nonprofit Consultant and and Nonprofit Capacity Building. Terrie’s editing with a zillion comments and questions helped shape it into a much better article with crisp presentation. Thank you Terrie even though I was getting impatient, your perfectionist editing did produce a much better product than my first submittal. Am I a Practitioner or a Provocteur? What do you think?
Carter McNamara, of managementhelp.org which hosts this blog says it best with this review – “Seldom have I seen a more thorough publication and with such well-respected authors. The book covers the critical basics and brings in the state-of-the-art. It’s well-organized to be a reference manual for all of us in nonprofits.”
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