By Todd Cohen
GREENSBORO, N.C. — Nonprofit boards are the focus of leadership-development programs offered by the Guilford Nonprofit Consortium and United Way of Greater High Point.
Effective boards are critical for nonprofits as they work to improve their programming, staff management and fundraising, says Donna Newton, director of the Guilford Nonprofit Consortium.
Bobby Smith, president of United Way of Greater High Point, says the strain the troubled economy has put on nonprofits makes it even more important that their boards include members who understand their roles and responsibilities.
The Guilford Nonprofit Consortium, a collaborative of over 250 nonprofits, has picked board development as its priority for continuing education in 2012.
Its efforts this year will include a workshop on Feb. 9 for nonprofit staff and board members, and a board-development academy
The three-hour workshop will be open to existing and new Consortium members, including nonprofit staff and board members, as well as consultants who work with nonprofits.
The workshop program, developed by nonprofits consultants who are Consortium members, will look at board-recruitment strategies; building and sustaining board commitment; strengthening board committees; managing difficult board members; establishing realistic expectations for the board; and the board’s role in fundraising.
The cost for the workshop, to be held from 8 a.m. to 11 a.m. in the Haywood Duke Room at Holy Trinity Episcopal Church in Greensboro, is $10 for Consortium members.
The board-development academy, to meet one evening a week for three hours from Jan. 17 through March 16, includes 30 participants to be selected based on applications they submit.
Classes will focus on board roles and responsibility; board meetings; board fiduciary responsibilities and legal duties; strategic planning; financial literacy; fundraising; marketing and advocacy; and a mock board meeting.
Tuition is $100 for staff, board members and other volunteers at Consortium member organizations, and $200 for other individuals.
The board-development program at United Way of Greater High Point, which has produced 183 graduates in its first six years, is developing its next class for this spring.
The program, which offers two classes a year of seven sessions each in the spring and fall, will be funded for the coming year with a $5,000 grant from the Cemala Foundation in Greensboro.
Designed to identify, recruit and train diverse candidates from High Point, Archdale, Trinity and Jamestown, the program focuses on topics that include strategic planning; marketing; finance; fundraising; fiduciary responsibilities; and how to run meetings.
Each class concludes with a graduation ceremony, to which local nonprofits are invited, that serves as a “draft” for new board members, Smith says, with graduates talking about what they learned and the kind of board work they want to do.