July 31, 2013

I teach governance at Saint Mary’s University – for the masters program in philanthropy and development. I have soooo much fun (and great annoyance!) with governance.

At one point in the course, we talked about the role of the individual board member…the job description applicable to all board members. I like to call the policy “performance expectations.”

Here’s one version. Here’s a slightly modified version. (And keep in mind, the job description of the board member is different than the job description of the board, the group that does governance. Check out the board job description, two versions, in the Free Download Library on my website.)

Back to Saint Mary’s and the Philanthropy and Development Program. In class, we talked about the board’s job and the individual board member’s job.

And then, Chris and Dean (not to be confused with Jan and Dean the musical duo), crafted an additional version of the performance expectations for board members. See below. What do you think?

  1. Use your position of influence for personal or family gain as often as possible.
  2. Abdicate personal and professional responsibilities when appropriate.
  3. Use creative excuses to miss important board and committee meetings.
  4. Undermine and frustrate management’s efforts to lead the organization.
  5. When operations are running smoothly, deliberately inject dysfunction and drama.
  6. Breach confidences indiscriminately.
  7. Hide, prevent, evade, and ignore the engagement of benefactors (also called donors!) in the work of the institution.
  8. Denigrate and ignore all bodies of research and professional best practices, particularly when presented by staff.
  9. Ignore data-driven decisions.
  10. Resist outside counsel at all cost.
  11. Disengage from, and frustrate, healthy conversation.

I’m thinking that this Chris and Dean version might be very useful. Perhaps add insights. Maybe wake some people up!

About Simone Joyaux

A consultant specializing in fund development, strategic planning, and board development, Simone P. Joyaux works with all types and sizes of nonprofits, speaks at conferences worldwide, and teaches in the graduate program for philanthropy at Saint Mary’s University, MN. Her books, Keep Your Donors and Strategic Fund Development, are standards in the field.

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