Thought Leader Blog Posts and Insights...

Assessing Proper Board Oversight Limits Culpability

This article by Eugene Fram, author of “Policy vs. Paper Clips” is a good overview of critical board roles in providing due diligence. Too many nonprofit boards don’t realize their culpability for CEO performance. Appropriate oversight will provide for proper monitoring and fully understanding organizational issues.


The board must recognize their responsibility as an independent arbiter of facts, without prejudice. It may be that the board’s monitoring of the CEO is minimal or non-existent, which puts a level of onus on the board for an escalating issue. Sitting down with the CEO to gain insight and discover what support he or she needs should be the first step when any issue is brought to the board’s attention.

Your board and your community (which you represent) are too deeply invested to allow for a lack of proper oversight sidelining your CEO – and potentially your organization’s mission and vision. Remember, your role with the CEO is a partnership!

As a nonprofit consultant, I’m particularly cognizant of the issues raised by this article. I’ve heard that among the membership of just one national nonprofit association, in the last year there have been about 12 member organizations that have gone through tumultuous leadership shifts, with this being the primary issue.

While the board must step in when appropriate, there must be policy and procedure in place that is closely followed. Only when serious ethical or fiduciary malfeasance is found should a board step in directly. Developing, protecting, and reconciling the relationship with their sole employee, the CEO, is their primary job.

In light of these concerns, one of the first assessments I recommend is a board survey to highlight any governance and policy issues or disconnect with the CEO. In a majority of my cases so far there have been indicators of a need for board/CEO training in monitoring and policy creation. Every effort at deepening the relationship and trust with your CEO will pay dividends.

When Do You Need A Consultant?

Numerous issues in a nonprofit organization rise to the occasion of requiring paid outside assistance. These involve acknowledging you’re facing something larger than your in-house skill set can handle alone. Accepting that help is needed is the first step in any weakness or dysfunctional behavior – whether of a person or an organization. Sometimes aContinue Reading

Mailbox Missionaries

Overhearing a conversation between my wife and me about bills and our limited funds, our 9 year-old daughter piped up, “Maybe there will be a check in the mail today for $200!” In 1989, after being accepted as approved missionary candidates with Wycliffe Bible Translators, it was recommended that I get further training in avionicsContinue Reading

The Common Good of Community

These days, providing for the common good by equalizing the economic level playing field through the “creation or redistribution of wealth”—or giving one’s fair share—is an interesting conversation.   It intrigues me that many of those who take up such a mantra, themselves live apart from those with whom they wish to build solidarity. However,Continue Reading

A Case for a New Leadership Paradigm

We are in a world of change as paradigms are being challenged. Gone are the days of the broad community acceptance of the Christian service provider. Postmodernism is taking its toll . . . leadership is changing, urban demographics are changing, legal regulations are changing, staff and boards are changing, donors are changing, and ministryContinue Reading

More Board for Your Buck

More and more is being written these days about the critical difference a Board makes in the effectiveness of business and ministry. How to get more out of what you put in is a relevant question at any time in the development of an organization and its Board. The topic of Board effectiveness is importantContinue Reading

The Artios Cohort Experience – Dave Medders

The Biblical Higher Education segment is unique from other Christian institutions, such as campus ministries, faith based mission societies, Christian camping, and rescue missions. Advancement and leadership training has historically been geared to fit all of these ministries, instead of targeting each individual segment. Members of ABHE are unique, and have their own needs. TheyContinue Reading

Practical Effectiveness of Artios Institute Cohorts

In Biblical Higher Education, we are always seeking to expand our knowledge of the Word of God, Theology, and Principles of Ministry.  And every graduate must demonstrate they can actually perform in the ministry.  The challenge of the educational experience is to prepare ministers for Kingdom work. The Artios Institute prepares cohort members to actuallyContinue Reading

Among the best in North America…

Dave Medders, one of the luminaries involved with The Artios Institute talks about why Artios is the Best in North America for helping Christian leaders lead better. The Artios Institute learning experience sharpens competence and expands capacity of advancement efforts at institutions of Biblical Higher Education.  Artios partners are highly respected across the Christian Community.Continue Reading

Leading from the Sweet Spot

It is interesting to see how many practical skill sets talk about finding the sweet spot—the place where maximum results happen with the least amount of effort.  Sports are full of them. One of the first times I remember hearing an explanation of the concept was watching a tennis match. The commentator described how theContinue Reading