Local Government Innovation & Redesign

To support local government redesign efforts and recognize the innovative work already underway, the Public and Nonprofit Leadership Center has partnered with state associations to create the Local Government Innovation & Redesign Guide and host a yearly Local Government Innovations Awards ceremony.

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Necessary nonprofit governance reform?

The Nonprofit Quarterly this month highlights nonprofit governance reform in a featured interview with Paul Light. Light articulates some of the pressing issues facing executive directors and boards of directors, including arduous compliancy challenges with the IRS, pure public transparency, and the multiple priorities for nonprofit organizations.

Board governance is a complex topic, in which one model certainly doesn’t fit all organizations. I’ve found that a number of nonprofit organizations in Minnesota subscribe to the Carver model, prioritizing the board’s role with organizational policymaking. The challenge with this approach is that it appears most effective for large-sized nonprofits with a mature organizational life-cycle. There are a number of other contingency factors that should affect the governance structure of nonprofit organizations – size, nature of the mission, needs of the community served, ethnic and cultural norms, etc.

Nonprofit governance is a particularly relevant question, as leaders of nonprofits face timely circumstances of encroaching business management models, massive forecasted leadership transitions, and increasing government accountability pressures. In my opinion, solutions should come from leaders within the nonprofit and independent sectors. What are your experiences with nonprofit board governance?

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