Nonprofit Board Talk
Does Your Nonprofit Retool?

"Only those who constantly retool themselves stand a chance of staying employed in the years ahead." - Tom Peters

     I love this quote from Tom Peters.  It is true for individuals but I think it is also true for organizations as well.  Is your nonprofit retooling?  In a fast changing world, it is important to “retool" if you want to survive and be relevant in your mission.

     Everyone talks about using social media.  A great “retool" for any nonprofit.  Is your nonprofit board using eGovernance tools to help with board and committee meetings?  Have you looked at cloud computing to lower techology costs, expand capacity or improve productivity?  What about crowd funding as a new source for donations and program funding?  Are you using meetups to help with outreach and volunteer recruiting?  Your nonprofit must improve, adapt and retool … or lose ground to other nonprofits that do.

Thanks for reading the Nonprofit Board Talk Blog!

Follow me on Twitter @NPBoardTalk

Brent Jackson

Annual Checklist for #Nonprofit Board Members

#Nonprofits #BoardService

1 – Make your annual donation!  You should financially support your nonprofit even if it does not require a donation from its board members.

2 – Update your profile (or directory) information.  Has your phone number or address changed?  Did you change jobs?  Most nonprofit boards maintain a profile sheet or directory for board members.  Make sure the information is correct.

3 – Check the status of your term.  If your board limits the number of years (or terms) a member can serve, check if you’re near the end of your term.  If so, you have some planning to do!  Prepare a package of information that needs to be turned over to the board when you step down.  Have a plan to transition any projects or documents you will not be able to finish before the term is ends.  Think about your role with the nonprofit after you step down.  Maybe you can serve on an advisory group or continue as a volunteer.

4 – Recommend a new board member.  All boards need a constant flow of new members.  This is a great time to chat with professional friends and colleagues about nonprofit board service.  If one is interested, refer them to the committee responsible for recruitment.  All board members should help with this task.  It should not fall on the recruiting committee alone.  (Note – Keep the boards recruiting targets for skills and / or professions in mind as you talk to people.)

5 – Review your nonprofit’s IRS Form 990 or 990-EZ!  All nonprofits must file a tax return with the IRS.  This form is available to the public.  Look at it please!  Make sure it was filed and that it is correct.  You don’t want to be a board member of a nonprofit that loses its tax exempt status.

6 – Review your nonprofit’s state tax return.  Does your state require a tax return from nonprofits?  If so, ask to see that return as well.

7 – Review your nonprofit’s year-end financial statements.  A board can’t ensure the financial health of a nonprofit without reviewing financial statements.  Make sure you have seen them and understand what is on them.

8 – Review this year’s budget.

9 - Review the nonprofit’s policy manual.  This is part of governance.  There are policies listed on the IRS Form 990.  Your state or local government may require nonprofits to have certain policies.  Any lawyer or HR professional will have a list of polices highly recommended for financial management, risk management and operations.  All policies should be easily available for you to review.  Make sure the nonprofit has all the policies it is required to have.

Tell me if I missed something!  I’m happy to update the list.

Thanks for reading the Nonprofit Board Talk Blog!