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Effective Boardmanship According to ECFA

Much has been written about building effective Boards and boardsmanship, including detailed discussion of the various aspects of the Board's role and responsibilities.
When a not-for-profit organization encounters failure or—even worse, scandal—its difficulties can almost always be traced to some breakdown at the Board level. For this reason, ECFA places much emphasis on strong, effective Board governance.

Responsible Governance

"Every member shall be governed by a responsible board . . ."

The importance of an active, informed Board cannot be overemphasized. Left unchecked, even minor board neglect can eventually intrude upon the accountability and effectiveness of the ministry.

In contrast, the active, informed Board will hold to the mission, protect the integrity of ministry objectives, and ensure consistent adherence to Board policies.

It is also important to remember that governance is not management. Having an enthusiastic, well-informed, and committed Board should not, except in certain circumstances (e.g., the temporary lack of a CEO or director), translate into involvement in daily management affairs.
Rather than manage the organization itself, the Board should assure that the organization is well managed.

In recognizing its responsibility to protect the long-range future of the organization, the Board must avoid the position of "not seeing the forest for the trees."

The Board should be diligent in maintaining a strong relationship with the CEO or director. A competent CEO (director) should be selected to carry out the ministry's mission under the direction of the Board. This relationship is pivotal.

The Board that adheres to accountability in its relationship with the CEO (director) will operate with greater confidence and trust, will ensure compliance with performance criteria, and will avoid detailed involvement in the organization's day-to-day operations.

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