• claire axelrad

    Great article. I love the concept of sustainability. Have also seen this framed as “financing not fundraising”. It means that every single board member is responsible — as a group and as individuals — to assure the organization has the infrastructure and resources to fulfill their mission, today and tomorrow. This means no one can be excusing from understanding the financials or from revenue generation activities (be they earned or unearned).

    Many thanks for articulating this so well.!

  • Mark Crawford

    Many thanks for this article. Well expressed. Getting our Boards to a) have the competence to understand fnancials and b) have governance level discussions about the ramifications of the data rather than endless discussions abut why there is a nominal variance on a specific line item is so important. I also really like the “rolling projection” mentality – is much more dynamic than the complete focus on the annual budget and fiscal year.

  • Jimmy LaRose

    Though this article is well-written and the author is to be complimented for her genuine concern most if not all of the directives she purports to be the responsibility of the Board in reality fall under the purview of THE STRONG CEO. Volunteer Board Members NEVER HAVE and NEVER WILL provide the level of oversight suggested. In truth, the majority of modern Board Management Models are unrealistic. At best Boards can review an annual comprehensive audit to determine CEO performance. EXPECTING ANYTHING MORE FROM VOLUNTEERS IS NOT SUSTAINABLE.

  • Keith Publicover

    This is one on the best articles I have read in a long time! Well done.

  • Michael F. Cade

    Great article, glad Jeanne’s move to join NPQ will get it even more views. Since this was written, many nonprofits have made progress in broadening financial understanding at the Board level and many have not. Much work still needs to be done to clearly educate donors, funders and the public on the financial realities of nonprofits.

    Unfortunately, finance is not the only issue. Long term health of a nonprofit is rooted in viability and relevance. So, its time for Boards to go beyond the numbers and look at their role even more broadly.