Learning from Nonprofit Boards

Nonprofit boards of directors and corporate boards have a lot in common. Both groups of leaders exist to guide and better an organization through strategic leadership. Board members bring their various talents and experiences to the table in order to collaborate for a better end goal.
learning from nonprofit boards

There are some innate differences between these two groups, though. For example, a nonprofit board focuses on gaining a deep understanding of its organization’s mission and seeks out ways to promote it in an ever-changing world.

For corporate boards, however, loyalty belongs to shareholders. As Beginnger’s Invest puts it, “The primary responsibility of a corporate board of directors is to protect the shareholders’ assets and ensure they receive a decent return on their investment.

The board of directors owes its shareholders the highest financial duty.”

Although these two types of boards have a different “chief goal” in sight, they can actually learn a lot from their counterparts.

What corporate boards can take by learning from nonprofit boards

  • Understand your company’s identity.

Nonprofit boards do a good job of understanding exactly how their organization fits into the landscape of their particular field. Corporate boards should take a long hard look at the identity (both internal and external) of their company and determine how it can be honed and refined.

  • Diversify your board.

According to recent studies, nonprofits are beating out corporate boards when it comes to diversity—namely with more women serving in leadership. Corporate boards serve a diverse membership of stakeholders and should be working to enhance their understanding of them. What better way than by seeking out leaders from various backgrounds?

What nonprofit boards can learn from corporate boards

  • Think globally.

Don’t get too bogged down in the day-to-day operations of the organization you serve. Take a cue from corporate boards and keep your focus high level as often as possible. Spending too much time going over minute details hinders your ability to think globally about where the mission of your organization is headed.

  • Innovate or get left behind.

Corporate boards know this all too well and are keen on finding ways to innovate ahead of the crowd lest their company get left behind completely! Nonprofits often shy away from innovation when it comes with a higher-end price tag, but oftentimes, an investment in innovation is exactly what will put your organization ahead of the crowd.

At the end of the day, both types of boards can benefit greatly from streamlining their communications. Here at Directorpoint, our board management software can help you transform the way your board operates. Schedule a demo with us today to learn more!

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