Lynch Associates

Building Better Boards

The Board of Directors can be a non-profit's most precious resource. Frequently, however, board members have little experience, knowledge or appreciation of how to play their role effectively.

This workshop helps board members learn how to avoid two very common mistakes. The first is that the board seeks to manage the agency by making decisions about every little thing that comes before it, sometimes even seeking out opportunities to do so. No board has the time to manage effectively in this way. The second common mistake is that the board is not involved enough, passively approving whatever the executive director wants. In the workshop, participants will learn a third way that frees them from the minutiae that consume so much board time and enable them to play a powerful governing role.

Who should attend

This class is helpful for board members and executive directors who want to establish a more effective governing body.

What you'll learn

This session provides board members with answers to common questions, such as:

  • What is the proper role between the board and the executive director
  • What is the legal liability of individual board members for actions of the staff
  • How many people should be on the board
  • What is the board's role in fundraising and supporting the agency
  • How can a board insure proper performance of agency staff
  • How does the board set the strategic direction of the agency
  • What is the role of the board in creating a vision of the agency's future

Sample topics covered:

The role of the board

  • Legal responsibilities of the board
  • Relations with the Executive
  • Ideal size and composition of the board

How to keep things under control without controlling people

  • Governing by policies
  • Holding the Executive accountable

Setting a strategic direction

  • Defining a motivating mission statement
  • Defining a compelling vision of the future
  • Defining strategy for the future

The board's role in raising resources

  • Asking for money
  • Representing the agency in the community


  • Opportunities to practice the skills demonstrated in the workshop
  • Free telephone assistance after the workshop ends