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The High-Performance Board: Principles of Nonprofit Organization Governance

ISBN: 978-0-7879-5697-4
208 pages
May 2002, Jossey-Bass
The High-Performance Board: Principles of Nonprofit Organization Governance (078795697X) cover image


While boards acknowledge they bear ultimate responsibility and accountability for their organizations' affairs, governance quality is often far from optimal. The High- Performance Board offers pragmatic and candid advice about what your board must do to maximize performance and contributions. The authors provide sixty-four principles designed to help your board achieve peak performance. They describe every principle in detail and present best practices and practical applications for each one. Each section of the book concludes with a board check-up-a set of questions that can be used to assess your board in light of the principles. A quick read for busy board members, this book is the ultimate board "drivers' manual."
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Table of Contents

Figures and Check-Ups.


About the Authors.

1. Governance Basics.

2. Obligations.

3. Functioning: Responsibilities.

4. Functioning: Roles.

5. Structure.

6. Composition.

7. Infrastructure.

8. Transforming Your Board.


A. The Sixty-Four Principles.

B. Illustrative Board Policies.

C. Sample Committee Charters.

D. Illustrative Board Chair Position Description.

E. Illustrative Governance Principles.

F. For Further Reading.

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Author Information

Dennis D. Pointer has worked with more than four hundred clients as a consultant, retreat facilitator, and speaker. His firm, Dennis D. Pointer & Associates, provides governance consulting, retreat facilitation, assessment, redesign, and development services to nonprofit organizations, commercial corporations, and government agencies. He is vice president and partner, American Governance and Leadership group LLC. Pointer is also Hanlon Professor of Health Policy and Research, San Diego State University. He is also the Austin Ross Professor, Department of Health Services, School of Public Health and Community Medicine, University of Washington (Seattle).
James E. (Jamie) Orlikoff is president of Orlikoff and Associates, Inc., a firm specializing in governance improvement and leadership development. He is executive director of the American Governance and Leadership Group LLC and the national advisor on governance and leadership to the American Hospital Association. In these various capacities, he has worked with over six hundred organizations to strengthen their governance effectiveness and efficiency. Orlikoff serves on the board of trustees of Pitzer College in Claremont, California.
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"What a terrific addition to the bookshelf for governing boards of nonprofit organizations! It is clearly written, well organized, and highly practical."
--Thomas P. Holland, professor and director, Institute for Nonprofit Organizations University of Georgia School of Social Work

"I learned more about nonprofit governance from this book than I have serving on boards for fifteen years."
--Art Ulene, former NBC Today Show medical commentator and director, The Vitality Challenge

"Pointer and Orlikoff show how great boards can truly transform our institutions. This is an innovative guide for benchmarking and improving governance."
--Marilyn Chapin Massey, president, Pitzer College, Claremont, California

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