Two Weeks, Two Boards

In the nonprofit world, Board of Trustees meetings are a big deal, the place where governance occurs in real time, face to face, and where the unpaid members of the corporation who are charged with representing the public’s trust and the organization’s fiduciary interests bring their hands-on expertise and vision to the table. I was very fortunate in the timing of my job transfer: last week, I participated in the Rensselaer Newman Foundation’s board meeting, this week, I am participating in the American Institute for Economic Research’s board meeting. It was nice to be able to leave one job, seeing folks I only saw a few times a year, giving a solid report of accomplishments and expectations . . . and then to walk into a new job, and have the opportunity to meet the new governing body, and learn of their expectations right off the bat. Nonprofit board governance is one the more challenging elements of the nonprofit experience: the ability of paid staff  to interact with and execute the vision of unpaid, volunteer Board members is one of of the defining elements of the world in which I’ve worked for the past 11 years. I count myself as fortunate to be able to see both my old board and new board in action in such a short span of time. There’s no better way to get an accurate handle of the business, governance and culture of nonprofit agencies.

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