Board Resources

Board Development Cohort

The Gianforte Family Foundation’s Board Development Program was designed to equip your organization to fulfill its unique God-given mission and build board and staff capacity. Even with four full days of training, private coaching sessions, a content-laden binder of resources, and a stack of books – we know that it might be difficult to put all your new knowledge and tools into practice. To spur you on, we will be sending out content on a quarterly basis to re-energize your board!

Cultivate a Steward Board

by Dr. Scott Rodin, The Steward’s Journey, Cohort Coach

I am concerned that we help boards ask the right questions. By that I mean ‘kingdom’ questions. The questions we ask should be oriented around a unified passion for boards to be faithful to God’s leading in pursuit of kingdom outcomes. For all our zeal for quality board governance, we must not…read more.

by Justin Wayland, Stillwater Youth Center

God’s work, God’s way, for God’s glory! This was a phrase that was often repeated in a recent board development conference that SYC’s board and leadership participated in. A short and simple phrase that at first any Christian non-profit would affirm but…read more.

by Paul Tripp

Fruit in the ministry is the result not of our wise planning and diligent execution but of the loving operation of God’s rescuing and transforming grace. He produces the fruit; we are but…read more.

  • Read one article (above) per monthly board meeting and hold a short discussion.
  • Pray the “The Board Prayer” by Dan Bolin contained in your board training binder before each board meeting.
  • Retake the Steward Board Assessment in your board training binder. Tally your results, compare them to the results from the board training (if you still have them), celebrate your improvements, and commit to one new area of growth.
  • Plan a board/spouse spiritual retreat to encourage and refresh your team.

Succession Planning: Lead Today with Tomorrow in Mind

by Nonprofit Megaphone

When a board president or executive director leaves an organization, the vacuum left by this departure often causes chaos or even the collapse of a nonprofit. A succession plan leat leaders empower the next generation to fill these vacancies and ensure the nonprofit thrives despite the departure of certain vital figures.

A succession plan outlines specific…continue reading.

by Gianforte Foundation

These documents should look familiar to anyone who participated in the Gianforte Board Development Program. They can be found in the binder provided during the workshop sessions.

“JUST ABOUT ANYBODY CAN MAKE AN ORGANIZATION LOOK GOOD FOR A MOMENT, BUT THE BEST LEADERS LEAD TODAY WITH TOMORROW IN MIND…BECAUSE A LEADER’S LASTING VALUE IS MEASURED BY SUCCESSION.” ~ JOHN MAXWELL

by Gianforte Foundation

  • Read the Article and Resources (provided) as a Board. 
  • Review Current Succession Plan Documents as a Board. Discuss if they are sufficient based on the article and resources provided. If not…
  • Select a Committee to Spearhead Additional Review, Research, and Recommendations. Set key milestones, deliverables, and a timeline for completion. 

Fundraising: A Steward Board's Commitment

by Dr. Scott Rodin, The Steward’s Journey, Cohort Coach

What’s so Christian about the way we do our fundraising? Is Christian fundraising nothing more than secular fundraising with some Bible verses strewn throughout our appeal letters? I have been wrestling with these questions over my career wanting to understand what our Christian theology has to do with our fundraising strategies and techniques. As a result, I discovered five things that I believe mark us as distinctly Christian fundraisers, and change dramatically the way we carry out our work…(continue reading)

edited by Wesley K. Wilmer

In 2003, noting that Christian organizations tended to use secular fundraising methods with little consideration of whether those practices were consistent with God‘s Word, Wesley Willmer convened a national task force under the joint auspices of the Christian Stewardship Association (CSA) and the Evangelical Council for Financial Accountability (ECFA) to address this concern. In this excerpt from Revolution in Generosity, Wilmer presents Biblical principles for stewardship and fundraising. You’ll notice that our very own Scott Rodin is quoted throughout! (continue reading)

by Henri Nouwen

Fundraising is a very rich and beautiful activity. It is a confident, joyful, and hope-filled expression of ministry. In ministering to each other, each from the riches that he or she possesses, we work together for the full coming of God’s Kingdom.

(excerpt from A Spirituality of Fundraising)

  • Read and discuss the articles as a board.
  • Order a copy of A Spirituality of Fundraisingbook and workbook for each board member. The workbook is designed as a four-week study but could be stretched out over four or more board meetings.
  • Review your 2022 development plan (or budget). Are you on target for hitting your fundraising goals? If not, consider scheduling time during a board meeting to write and assign a few development-oriented SMART Goals. Don’t forget to pull your copy of Scott Rodin’s Development 101 off the bookshelf.
  • Schedule time on the calendar to develop a 2023 comprehensive annual development plan. This plan should be based on a board-approved 2023 budget. Again, you should have a copy of Scott Rodin’s Development 101 from when your organization participated in the Gianforte Board Development Program. It is a terrific resource!

Good Boards Eat Strategy for Breakfast

by Dr. Scott Rodin, The Steward’s Journey, Cohort Coach

Ask any five strategic planning consultants about the best process for writing a plan, and you will get five different answers, sometimes varying widely in both product and approach. Even more vexing, ask ten nonprofits about whether they have a current, relevant strategic plan driving their daily decisions and being well executed, and you will get mostly blank stares, sighs or even laughter. 

In our experience there are few organizations benefiting daily from a well-written strategic plan that has become integrated into their life and work…(continue reading)

By: Michael Zigarelli, Regent Business Review

This is not your father’s Billy Graham crusade. It’s Teen Mania, the brainchild of Ron Luce, a humble yet dynamic guy from a broken home. He had a vision of saving a generation, bringing millions of teens to a genuine commitment for Jesus. In the early ’90s, he orchestrated the first “Acquire the Fire” (ATF) Teen Mania event, drawing a couple hundred guests. Today, 250,000 kids attend ATF events annually: 6,000 take mission trips, and hundreds more enroll in a year-long “Honor Academy” program.

God is clearly at work in all of this, in the hearts of teens and in the internal operations of Teen Mania. God-honoring strategic planning became a necessity. 

“We went from having no formal planning, to having something that failed, to having something that’s now working pretty well,” recalls George Babbes, Teen Mania board member. “After a few years of ministry growth it was complete chaos. Ron’s BHAGs (big hairy audacious goals) kept taking us to new levels of impact, and his vision led the ministry to where it is today, but along the way we encountered major stress fractures. There were too many moving parts and without a formal strategy and structure, the ministry began tearing apart at the seams.”

Babbes worked with Ron on a clear mission statement and formal strategic plan…(continue reading)

by Peter F. Drucker

“Unless commitment is made, there are only promises and hopes; but no plans.”

By The Focus Group

  • Does it drive your daily decisions, and how you spend your time and resources?
  • Does your plan reflect an earnest and ongoing, prayerful effort to discern God’s will and follow it obediently?
  • Do your primary stakeholders understand the plan, and are they supportive?
  • Is it reviewed regularly by the Board, and does the Board look to the leadership team for updates and changes?
  • Is your plan agile and adaptable to ensure it remains relevant?
  • Conduct a SWOT Analysis. Want a little guidance? We found this great tutorial!
  • Develop SMART Goals for the coming year based on your most recent Strategic Planning session. Research shows that individuals who write down their goals are 42% more likely to achieve them! Use our worksheet.
  • Prepare an impact calendar of important events, SMART Goal deadlines, etc. (Don’t forget to review your calendar and make adjustments at each board meeting!)

Creating Impact: Through Assessment and Strategy

BoardSource’s annual Leading with Intent report highlights findings from its most recent study and provides a framework for exploring the following:

  • Work: What Boards Do and How Well They Do It 
  • People: Who Boards Are and How They Are Structured
  • Culture: How Boards Operate as a Group 
  • Impact: What Matters Most When It Comes to Board Leadership

Use this report to help inform your board on common strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats that face boards across the nation—and to develop strategically.

Boards that conduct self-assessments have greater impact on the organization’s performance than those that do not  (79 vs. 58 percent), according to leading board development organization

~ BoardSource, Leading with Intent 2021

Does your Executive Director/Board relationship feel confusing, clunky, or downright contentious? Many times, the problem is a lack of clarity regarding roles and responsibilities. With a little work, the relationship can be rectified. 

There are five basic board types. Once the board type is determined, a deeper understanding of the responsibility of the board (as a collective) is essential. The Board of Directors brings vision for the future, oversight, strategy, and fiduciary care to the boardroom table. No matter the board type, a board member is responsible for… keep reading.

  • Develop a simple Board Meeting evaluation survey for every meeting. Ask questions like: Was this meeting worth my time? Was this meeting managed well? Did it have the information needed for good decision-making? Were the pre- and post-meeting materials timely and organized well? Did the agenda create space for iterative thinking? Are the board members’ skills being effectively used?
  • Discuss key Leading with Intent takeaways at your next board meeting and integrate them into a SWOT analysis.
  • Review the Board’s Roles and Responsibilities on an annual basis. Or take one key role or responsibility and discuss it at every board meeting.

by Peter Drucker

“Self-Assessment is the first action requirement of leadership: the constant resharpening, constant refocusing, never really being satisfied.” 

Board Governance Templates

Consider leveraging one or two of these tools to enhance your board governance. Haven’t provided your CEO with an evaluation in the past few years? Or, does your board need a fundraising boost? Check out the following templates, courtesy of M.J. Murdock Charitable Trust!

Please note: these templates are not intended to substitute for legal advice.