Click the cover image below to download the Winter 2012 issue of the Nonprofit Quarterly.


In this issue

Welcome to Emerging Forms of Nonprofit Governance

The Nonprofit Ethicist
Should a board member who wants to be CEO resign from the board, or is taking a leave of absence sufficient? Is it an invasion of privacy to use a prospect research company to obtain information on a prospective donor? What is the best way to handle “closet bigots” in the office? And what should you do if concerns about your executive director’s charging unrelated expenses to grants fall on deaf ears? Our resident expert responds.
by Woods Bowman

Problem Boards or Board Problem?
How can we make board work more meaningful for serving members and more consequential for their organizations?
by William P. Ryan, Richard P. Chait, and Barbara E. Taylor

Underestimating the Power of Nonprofit Governance
This article proposes that nonprofit leaders are increasingly focused on secondary issues, and asks, What does the sector stand to gain as a result of retraining our focus from structural concerns to the central questions and principles of nonprofit governance?
by Ruth McCambridge

Reframing Governance II
The most substantive decisions on your organization’s governance are likely happening far from the board room. How should your governance systems respond?
by David O. Renz

The Road Less Traveled: Establishing the Link between Nonprofit Governance and Democracy
“How,” the author rhetorically asks, “can an organization contribute to a democratic society if there is a democratic deficit in its own governance?”
by Chao Guo

Adding a Few More Pieces to the Puzzle: Exploring the Practical Implications of Recent Research on Boards
What is it that enables boards to be strong and effective, and why are we still using outdated models in an effort to improve board performance?
by David O. Renz

Financial Transactions with Your Board: Who Is Looking?
In a first-of-its-kind study, nonprofits report on their transactions with board members—some for the better and some for the worse.
by Francie Ostrower

Sarbanes-Oxley: Ten Years Later
A decade since the Sarbanes-Oxley Act first appeared, organizations still worry that aspects of the law will continue to seep into the sector. But doesn’t the sector actually have little to worry about and much to gain?
by Rick Cohen

The Inclusive Nonprofit Boardroom: Leveraging the Transformative Potential of Diversity
Diversity on boards has to be good, right? So how is it that study after study suggests the opposite? A closer look at boards today reveals that exactly how we diversify makes all the difference.
by Patricia Bradshaw and Christopher Fredette

Unstill Waters: The Fluid Role of Networks in Social Movements
It’s a wonder that social-movement networks survive long enough to make an impact. What’s the secret sauce of these organizing efforts?
by Robin Katcher

Community-Engagement Governance™: Systems-Wide Governance in Action
Does governance only reside in the board? Most of us know that it is more widely held than that, but few really design their governance systems to make full use of the intelligence and energies of their stakeholders.
by Judy Freiwirth

Loyal Opposition
A board that can adopt this parliamentary concept can benefit from internal scrutiny and creativity that will ultimately strengthen its ability to achieve its mission.
by Patricia Bradshaw and Peter Jackson

Board Stories Involving Humans
Whether by the book or ad-hoc, the defining feature of successful boards is not the model but the people who make it work.
by Ruth McCambridge

The Best and Worst of Board Chairs
Do you know one when you see one? Initial research shows that there is a great deal of agreement about what makes a good board chair.
by Yvonne D. Harrison and Vic Murray

New Frontiers and Critical Questions: Moving Governance Research Forward
Several insights into the world of nonprofit governance have emerged in recent years, yet much remains to be explored. This article discusses five areas for future inquiry.
by Fredrik O. Andersson