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The Art of Trusteeship: The Nonprofit Board Members Guide to Effective Governance

ISBN: 978-0-7879-5133-7
208 pages
November 2000, Jossey-Bass
The Art of Trusteeship: The Nonprofit Board Members Guide to Effective Governance (0787951331) cover image
The well-being of any nonprofit organization rests first with its volunteer board of directors. This book offers board members the guidance they need to successfully govern their organizations--no matter what type or size of nonprofit they may lead.

Written by Candace Widmer and Susan Houchin, The Art of Trusteeship shows you how to fulfill ten key trustee responsibilities and includes much-needed detail on defining mission, strategic planning, executive selection and evaluation, fundraising, financial oversight, and board self-assessment. This hands-on guide is filled with illustrative case studies and real-life examples that clearly show how a variety of creative boards have tackled challenges and strengthened their organizations.

"At last, a book that doesn't take a one-size-fits-all approach! The authors recognize that the huge diversity among nonprofits calls for multiple ways of fulfilling basic board responsibilities. The book allows a board member to dive in at any point and find a concise, clear set of options for handling the challenges of trusteeship. It will help even first-time board members find firm footing on the path to effective governance."
--Sara L. Engelhardt, president, The Foundation Center
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About the Authors.

Acknowledgements.

Introduction: The Art of Trusteeship.

THE BOARD'S RESPONSIBILITY FOR MISSION.

Establishing the Organization's Mission.

Engaging in Strategic Planning.

Overseeing Programs.

Helping the Organization Communicate Effectively.

THE BOARD'S RESPONSIBILITY FOR MONEY.

Overseeing the Organization's Finances.

Developing Funds.

Ensuring Sound Risk Management Policies.

THE BOARD'S RESPONSIBILITY FOR MANAGEMENT.

Selecting and Supporting the Chief Executive Officer.

Selecting and Educating Trustees.

Managing the Work of the Board.

Conclusion: The Challenge of Trusteeship.

References.

Additional Resources.

Index.
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CANDACE WIDMER is professor of human services and sociology at Elmira College and a well-known consultant to nonprofits. SUSAN HOUCHIN is director of national services for Girls Incorporated and its seven year trustee Education for Excellence Project.
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"This book delivers what trustees direly need but rarely get: plainspoken, practical advice, rooted in common sense and real life. It tells trustees what to do, and how to do it well." --Richard P. Chait, professor, Harvard University's Graduate School of Education

"The Art of Trusteeship addresses the many challenges facing trustees today during this time of rapid change, increasing demand for accountability, and competition for funds. Whether you are a trustee or nonprofit CEO, you will find the authors' approach will apply to your organization and its mission." --Mary H. DeKuyper, member of the board of governors, the National American Red Cross

"At last, a book that doesn't take a one-size-fits-all approach! The authors recognize that the huge diversity among nonprofits calls for multiple ways of fulfilling basic board responsibilities. The book allows a board member to dive in at any point and find a concise, clear set of options for handling the challenges of trusteeship. It will help even first-time board members find firm footing on the path to effective governance." --Sara L. Engelhardt, president, The Foundation Center

"Nothing is more important to the success of nonprofit organizations than effective board governance. The Art of Trusteeship makes the compelling case that such success is the result of clear vision, solid understanding and good practice. The book makes great sense and will help its readers better understand what good board performance means and how to get it." --Ken Gladish, national executive director, chief executive officer, YMCA
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