A Blueprint to Building an Effective Nonprofit Board

July 31, 2016



Guest Blog by David Schriver, Director, Ellin & Tucker
and Kimberly Fusco, Principal, Ellin & Tucker 


Maryland is currently home to more than 32,000 nonprofits, and that number grows annually! As the marketplace becomes more competitive, having the right board members in place is increasingly crucial for continued growth and success. The strategy and decision-making that goes into appointing board members should evolve with your organization. While the demand for not-for-profit service in the Baltimore region is increasing, funding is diminishing. As a result, the health of not-for-profit organizations is constantly wavering, with expenses often outpacing revenue. This financial volatility forces boards to invent new fundraising and growth strategies. As CPAs who provide

and tax reporting presentations to boards, as well as serving on boards of not-for-profits,  Ellin & Tucker understands just how much of an impact an organization’s board has on its financial health and longevity. If the board is not comprised of strategically diverse experts focused on long-term growth and sustainability, the organization risks failure.

Join us as we help Maryland’s nonprofit leaders discover board-building best practices at Maryland Nonprofit’s annual conference on September 29, 2016. Our presentation will cover several topics for building an effective board, including:

Board Member Skill Sets: Not-for-profit organizations must conduct a continuous, deliberate analysis of the make-up of the board and ensure that members have varying skill sets that can advise on timely challenges and trends. Consider tapping individuals in the local business community and professional service providers such as lawyers, banking professionals, accountants and other trusted business advisors who can ensure the organization is run like a business.

Fundraising Opportunities: The natural instinct of any not-for-profit leader is to appoint individuals to the board with expertise in sales, marketing or fundraising, but this approach is flawed. Why? Because while individuals with those related skill sets are desirable, every board member should be responsible for promoting the not-for-profit organization in the community and be held accountable for growth and sustainability. Not-for-profits must align with strategic partners who can not only introduce the organization to other partners but who can also be potential donors.

Collaborative Committees: While the committee structure of the board is important, the board’s focus should be on working collaboratively. When developed and implemented properly, a board can drive the future success of a not-for-profit organization. But it’s important to make sure your board has been strategically developed to help the organization not only stay

but also remain healthy long-term. Have meaningful tactical discussions and set attainable goals, in order to evaluate areas for improvement and growth.

If you would like to learn more about how to build an effective board, be sure to sign up for our presentation, “A Blueprint to Building an Effective Nonprofit Board,” at Celebrating Success – Inspiring Innovation.


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