Governance (Boards)

Whether you’re building your board for the first time or taking steps to strengthen it, we’ve put together the following resources to help our nonprofits create and sustain their Board of Directors.

If you have any resources that you’d like to share with the nonprofit community, please email a brief description, and link or PDF to Katie Breslin.


Key Governance Policies

Courtesy of Montana Nonprofit Association

Committee Charters
Board Governance Policy 
Code of Ethics
Conflict of Interest and Annual Statement
Public Reporting and Transparency Policy
Whistleblower and Non-Retaliation Policy
Document Retention and Destruction Policy
Executive Compensation Policy

Note: Montana Nonprofit Association governance policies may be used as examples of governance policy practices and adapted by visitors to this site. However, these policies should not be used simply as templates. All policies should be reviewed in light of the unique circumstances and needs of each organization and adapted accordingly. All policies should be reviewed by an attorney knowledgeable in nonprofit law prior to adoption.

Board Development

Workbook: Hiring and Performance Appraisal of the Executive Director

 Capacity Assessment Survey: Two page, 53 point self-administered assessment of an organization's capacity. Patti Larson, Nonprofit Resources Center (Sacramento, CA)


BoardLink is a program of the Nonprofit Resource Center whose goal is to train and match board candidates and nonprofits in the Sacramento Region. This material is copyrighted.

Newsletters & Blogs

Leader to Leader

Board Source

Nonprofit Board Crisis

Internet Resources

Foundation Center's Nonprofit Collaboration Database: Explore different collaboration models, learn about strategies for overcoming challenges to working together, find metrics for measuring outcomes, and more.

The Alliance for Nonprofit Management

Development Leadership Network

Free Management Library- Boards

Bridgestar: Bridgestar was founded on the premise that mission-focused nonprofits have greater opportunity to achieve breakthrough results when they attract, assemble, and nurture strong board and senior leadership teams. Bridestar seeks to be a resource for enhancing the flow and effectiveness of capable executives into and within the sector.

Management Information Exchange John Carver’s Policy Governance® model

The Hauser Center for Nonprofit Organizations: Hauser is an interdisciplinary research center at Harvard University based at the John F. Kennedy School of Government. It seeks to expand understanding and accelerate critical thinking about nonprofit organizations and civil society among scholars, practitioners, policy makers, and the general public.

Management Assistance Program

Whatcom Council of Nonprofits

 The Nonprofit Life Stage Assessment: The tool helps you understand your organization’s strengths and weaknesses with respect to its particular stage of development. It will help your organization plan for future needs, make decisions proactively, anticipate challenges, and determine what adjustments might be appropriate.

Synthesis Partnership: A site dedicated to helping nonprofits in organizational techniques, Synthesis Partnership provides links to several useful, relevant e-letters pertaining to nonprofit boards and planning.


Why Do You Need a Board?

Fund Raising Realities Every Board Member Must Face

Managing to Survive

501(c) Blues: Staying Sane in the Nonprofit Game

Management Analysis in Public Organizations

Leaders Who Make a Difference : Essential Strategies for Meeting the Nonprofit Challenge

Strategic Planning for Nonprofit Organizations: A Practical Guide and Workbook

Balanced Scorecard Step-by-Step for Government and Nonprofit Agencies

How to Form a Nonprofit Corporation (5th Edition)

The Complete Guide to Nonprofit Management

Starting and Managing a Nonprofit Organization : A Legal Guide

Fraud and Abuse in Nonprofit Organizations: A Guide to Prevention and Detection

Mission-Based Management; Leading Your Not-for-Profit Into the 21st Century

Mission-Based Management : An Organizational Development Workbook with CD-ROM

Strategic Planning Workbook for Nonprofit Organizations

Strategic Management for Nonprofit Organizations: Theory and Cases

Sustaining Innovation : Creating Nonprofit and Government Organizations that Innovate Naturally

Nonprofit Mergers and Alliances : A Strategic Planning Guide

Success Planning: A 'How-To' Guide for Strategic Planning

Strategic Management in Public and Nonprofit Organizations: Managing Public Concerns in an Era of Limits

Nonprofit Strategic Planning

Handbook of Strategic Planning for Nonprofit Organizations

Strategic Tools for Social Entrepreneurs: Enhancing the Performance of Your Enterprising Nonprofit

Welcome to the Board

Managing the Non-Profit Organization: Principles and Practices

Nonprofit Boards

The Ultimate Board Member's Book

Called to Serve

The Strategic Board

Reinventing Your Board

Doing Good Better!

John Carver on Board Leadership

Nonprofit Boards That Work

Ten Basic Responsibilities of Nonprofit Boards

Financial Responsibilities of Nonprofit Boards

Governance Committee

Structures and Practices of Nonprofit Boards

Fundraising Responsibilities of Nonprofit Boards

Legal Responsibilities of Nonprofit Boards

The Nonprofit Board's Role in Setting and Advancing the Mission

The Nonprofit Board's Role in Planning and Evaluation

How to Help Your Board Govern More Manage Less

Leadership Roles in Nonprofit Governance

The Board Member's Playbook

The Board Member's Guide to Strategic Planning: A Practical Approach to Strengthening Nonprofit Organizations

Succeeding with Consultants: Self-Assessment for the Changing Nonprofit

Nonprofit Mergers and Alliances, 2nd Edition

  4Good Articles

Capacity Building for Nonprofits: A Hartford Example
Getting Back in Shape: Guidelines for Improving the Fitness of Established Nonprofit Organizations

Mission Possible: Improving Your Organization's Mission Statement

A Climate Change in Evaluation: Leadership in Difficult Times

Ten Keys to Successful Strategic Planning for Nonprofit and Foundation Leaders

Good Growth, Bad Growth and How to Tell the Difference



  Indicates 4Good contribution.