Are we there yet? Evaluating NFP outputs, outtakes, outcomes & impact

Evaluation – Part 2 Evaluation is one of the central elements in the EDM (Evaluate, Direct, Monitor) Governance Model, but its role in governance (and management) is often obscured by the use of other terms, like ‘problem-solving’ or ‘decision-making’. The importance of evaluation in non-profit governance is highlighted in the extracts from AICD’s NFP Governance… Continue reading Are we there yet? Evaluating NFP outputs, outtakes, outcomes & impact

The Scales of Governance: Weighing options, arguments, evidence & consequences

Evaluation – Part 1 We use the term ‘on balance’ as a shorthand way of saying that we have come to a decision or choice after considering the power, influence, or ‘weight’ of both sides of a question or issue. This invokes metaphoric reference to a set of balance scales – as in the ‘scales of justice’ (see header image). Evaluation skills, sometimes… Continue reading The Scales of Governance: Weighing options, arguments, evidence & consequences

The choice between insightful and inciteful words

Civil society and civility Non-profit organisations often characterise themselves as being part of ‘civil society’. Civil society has been defined and redefined over many years, but it broadly refers to “a wide array of organisations: community groups, non-governmental organisations (NGOs), labor unions, indigenous groups, charitable organisations, faith-based organisations, professional associations and foundations” (World Bank). As… Continue reading The choice between insightful and inciteful words

Conflict Governance: Managing Role Conflict, Strain & Ambiguity

While ‘conflict of interest’ is generally understood to relate to directors needing to separate their board responsibilities from self-interest (especially financial benefit for themselves or those close to them), role (or goal) conflict, role strain, and role ambiguity tend to be less thoroughly addressed in non-profit governance mechanisms. Social scientists tell us that the term… Continue reading Conflict Governance: Managing Role Conflict, Strain & Ambiguity

OK to delegate?

Non-profit organisations depend heavily on volunteers to achieve their purposes. Non-profit board directors therefore have a built-in recognition of the need to delegate key aspects of the organisation’s operations to individual volunteers or groups of volunteers. Role confusion? As very few non-profit entities pay their directors, most of those people think of themselves as volunteers,… Continue reading OK to delegate?

Good and Bad Delegation

Experienced non-profit directors and managers understand that the key to effective volunteer engagement is relationship management. Having best practice policies and procedures, including a volunteer policy framework and instruments of delegation, may be necessary, but these measures are not sufficient to successfully engage your volunteer ‘workforce’. Engagement or buck-passing? Old school ‘carrot and stick’ approaches… Continue reading Good and Bad Delegation

Delegation to volunteers – handle with care

Delegation ‘Power‘ The power to delegate some part of the board’s authority or functions (other than ‘the power to delegate‘*), is one of the legitimate powers enshrined in most non-profit constitutions. Not being able to delegate ‘the power to delegate’ makes sense, as ultimate responsibility must remain with the governing board. In small to medium-sized… Continue reading Delegation to volunteers – handle with care

Organisational power

The powers and duties of directors were the focus of some earlier posts, however these make quite narrow use of the concept of ‘power’ – which has many forms and applications. My previous post dealt with powers legally (and therefore legitimately) afforded non-profit boards and directors, and made reference to those powers being distinctly different… Continue reading Organisational power

NFP powers and duties – inseparable

Non-profit directors’ ‘powers and duties’ are comparable to the ‘rights and responsibilities’ we all hold as citizens. The two concepts are therefore aspects of one orientation or disposition, and just as rights should not be isolated from responsibilities, power should always be considered as only one side of the coin called ‘power and duties’ (as… Continue reading NFP powers and duties – inseparable

Problems ‘for’ and ‘of’ governance

Problem classification Every field of human endeavour has problems, and the myriad problem solving approaches that have been identified through history reflect that diversity. Even within a field, such as non-profit governance, the variety of problems that come before a board of directors can be extremely diverse. Strategic, risk, financial, structural, logistical, human, technological, safety,… Continue reading Problems ‘for’ and ‘of’ governance