Non-profit Boards Rate Themselves

OvrhdBdTableOur research finds that too often board members lack the skill set, depth of knowledge, and engagement required to help their organizations succeed,” says accounting professor David F. Larcker, the lead researcher.”

So concludes the Stanford Graduate School of Business survey of members of non-profit boards of directors.

The survey of 924 non-profit board members paints a pessimistic portrait of non-profit board member capability as characterized by fellow board members.

A mitigating factor, echoed by experienced board advisors, was that many boards were fortunate to have at least a handful of directors who were both capable and engaged.

To read the article from the Stanford Graduate School of Business, click here or copy and paste this link into your browser – http://www.gsb.stanford.edu/insights/david-larcker-nonprofit-boards-fall-short

The personal and professional risk faced by a board member who is inadequate to the task is made clear in a recent Court of Appeals decision placing several million dollars of personal liability on board members.

The court concluded that non-profit boards share a similar standard to that of for-profit boards,  “the standard of director conduct applied by the appeals court is quite similar to that which might be applied to a traditional (business) corporate board.”

This case was reported on an article on Huff Post by Eugene Fram of the Rochester Institute of Technology.  Click here or copy and paste this link into your browser – http://www.huffingtonpost.com/eugene-fram/nonprofit–business-direc_b_7007414.html

So, add this item to your checklist when considering joining a board.  read my prior article “Before Joining a Non-profit Board.