By Nancy Long, executive director
501 Commons has used the Policy Governance approach to our board of directors for a decade. We believe this well-designed, holistic, and very logical approach to governance has helped our organization grow rapidly to meet the needs of nonprofits in Washington State.
We like Policy Governance so much we would love to share it with you! Here are some of the benefits your organization could experience using Policy Governance:
- Busy and experienced people like the clear expectations and structure of Policy Governance, and are therefore more likely to join the board.
- The board focuses on governance and allows the executive to manage the organization.
- Committees help the board do its work successfully. They do not go off on tangents unrelated to the work of the board.
- Board members can identify the things they worry about upfront and the executive provides reports about those things on at least an annual basis.
- Preparing the board monitoring reports ensures that the executive is well informed about key aspects of the organization.
- The board never tries to direct staff other than the executive.
- Written policies allow the board to avoid redundant conversations.
- The executive knows how the board will evaluate him/her before the year begins.
- The board has more time for strategic conversations because oversight is managed efficiently.
- The organization can be more successful because it has a stable, high-functioning board that knows its job and has a clear accountable relationship with the executive.