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Briggs Business Consulting

Specializing in services to nonprofits and government

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The Benefits of a Well-Trained Board
Is your Board filled with passionate and intelligent people, but when it comes to gittin' it done you just can't seem to agree?
Committing to board development training is one of the most important decisions your group can make. Passionate and smart people have great potential as board members, and board development training can help them learn how to make better decisions to bring your organization toward your goals.
Board development training varies depending on the size and experience of a group, but generally covers the following points:
  • What does it mean to be a nonprofit, and what kind of nonprofit are we?
  • What legal ramifications do we need to be aware of?
    • Bylaws- what they are, why you need them, when to change them
    • Fiduciary responsibilities
    • Roles and duties of officers
  • What is the relationship between Board, staff, and volunteers?
    • Hiring and evaluating the Executive Director
    • Recommending policy
    • Implementing procedures


What is strategic planning?
Without an organized way to plan for the future of an organization, great ideas can get lost in the shuffle of the everyday workload.Sometimes in addition to losing the great ideas, the not-so-great ideas pop up to take their place.
In the course of business in the non-profit world, many opportunities for expansion of services arise.There is always an unmet need in the community, advertisements for grant funding, or a really good idea brought up at board meetings. Without a plan in place, it is easy to take up new projects that, while they may be very valuable, are not economically feasible or consistent with the mission of the organization.
The good news is, sometimes you’ve always done it that way because it’s the best way to do it!The bad news is, if you don’t plan for your organization, and look at how and why you do things the way you do, it may not be the best way.Or, the best way may be lost when staff or boards have turnover. Including in your plan the general direction you want to take and some explanation of why decisions have been made in the past can help keep the organization on track.

Like most goals, or New Year's Resolutions, words are just words if you can't implement it. The key to successful strategic planning is creating a work plan to help you achive your newly created goals. A good work plan will have realistic timelines, project champions, and strategies to help you achieve your goals and meet your mission statement.
A strategic planning process should usually include the following:
  • Review of past program effectiveness and cost
  • Review of financial and personell resources
  • Review of organizational mission
  • Review and measurement of current goals, objectives and activities
  • Creation of new goals, objectives and activies
  • Reality check: Can we really do all this? Is there more that we should do? Are we being true to our stated mission?
  • Creation of work plan with timelines and project leaders identified
  • Regularly scheduled review of the plan