Last Word: Letter from Marv Berenblum

Marv Berenblum

Marv Berenblum

CEO of NESC shares insight on Board Practices.

NESC’s Board Practice continues to assist the nonprofit community by providing a broad array of consulting services, including governance, succession planning, strategy development and conflict resolution – complemented by the Executive Search Practice which assists clients in the identification of outstanding board members.

Key to the success of any board is the effectiveness of its leadership, the quality of its board members, the manner in which the board is organized and its relationship with operating management.  At its core are the resources offered by individual board members.  In essence, board members can provide their time, talent and treasure.

It’s imperative therefore that prospective board members evidence a strong alignment with the values of the nonprofit and a passion for the mission of the organization, if they are to be counted on to give the full measure of time they have available to fulfill their responsibilities as board members.

In respect to the talent they possess, board members should not only be selected for the expertise they bring to workings of the board, such as a background in the legal sector, human resources, technology, finance, planning or marketing, but also skills which pertain to the organization’s operations where experience in event planning, working with underprivileged children, or a background in rehabilitative services might be valuable in support of the on-going activities of the nonprofit.

When it comes to one’s treasure, in these times of financial pressure on nonprofits, increasing reliance is being placed on board members to help fill the gap through direct monetary contributions, as well as seeking financial support from others.  It’s essential therefore those financial expectations in terms of “give and/or get” are made clear to prospective board members so that there are no surprises once they are on the board.

Ultimately, successful nonprofits will have taken the steps necessary to ensure that they have selected their membership in a manner that ensures alignment with mission, comprehensive attention to the expertise required, effective organization of the board in terms of committee assignments and sustained succession planning to ensure a vibrant and forward-looking leadership.


About National Executive Service Corps

National Executive Service Corps is a nonprofit dedicated to empowering nonprofits since 1977.
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