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Five Things Your Board Can Do to Lead with Accountability and Transparency

  1. five-things-your-board-can-do-to-lead-with-accountability-and-transparency_boardsource.jpgReview & Share Organizational Financials: Providing financial oversight is one of the board's primary responsibilities, and one that should not be delegated to a small group of board leaders, a committee, or staff. It is critical that each individual board member thoroughly review the financials that are provided to the board and ask questions if there's something he or she doesn't understand.

    If the organization doesn't already do so, board members should encourage the CEO to provide a copy of their audited financial statements and Form 990 on the organization's Web site and on GuideStar, and the full board should review the organization's 990 prior to its being signed.
  2. Conduct an Annual Assessment of Your CEO: The CEO or executive director is the board's one employee, and providing appropriate oversight and management is essential. Conducting a formal, annual review is critical to confirming that the board and CEO are on the same page about the goals and priorities for the next year and ensures that the CEO receives constructive feedback about his or her performance.
  3. Regularly Assess Your Board's Performance: Self-assessment is a critical step in strengthening a board's own performance, and a powerful signal that the board is committed to effective and accountable leadership.
  4. Address Issues Head On: The strength of an organization's leadership is tested by how it handles tough situations. Make sure that your organization demonstrates a commitment to identifying and addressing potential issues.
    • Handle Conflicts of Interest: A commitment to handling conflicts of interests is essential to creating an organizational culture of transparency. Boards should create and follow a policy for identifying and handling conflicts of interest, whether real or perceived. For more on coming to terms with a conflict of interest, download this free resource from BoardSource.
    • Establish a Whistleblower Policy: Make sure that you have a written whistleblower policy, and that all of your employees know how to activate it. After all, this is something your organization must verify on the 990!
  5. Lead with Authenticity: Your board's actions reflect on your organization and its ideals. Here are some important things to consider in terms of authentic board leadership:
    • Give: If your organization raises money in support of your mission, each and every one of your board members should make a personal donation in support of your mission. Read more in this free article from BoardSource.
    • Commit to Diversity & Inclusion: Your board's composition, policies and practices should reflect your organization's ideals as it relates to diversity and inclusivity. Learn more about why this is so important, and what you can do about it, in this free article from BoardSource.

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Topics: Board Development