Governance Policy Topics
(Return to the Model )
  1. Overview
    1. There are policies in 4 broad areas:
      1. End policies: the desired outcomes and objectives of the organization.
      2. Executive limitations: the constraints on the EDs efforts in pursuit of the ends
        (stated negatively to preserve the EDs full range of choices)
      3. Board governance processes: how the Board does its work
      4. Board ED linkage: how the Board and ED work together
    2. For each policy area, there is a broad, global statement that brackets the entire domain. that general statement, there are more detailed specifications, until the Board is with any reasonable interpretation.
      1. The high-level policies often seem "obvious" and hardly worth stating; in reality, it is critical to state the obvious, and to provide the definition of that policy domain. Every subsequent and subordinate policy should be an expansion on that original high-level statement, and nothing more.
      2. At this high level, the unique character of the organization is barely visible, except in the Ends policies.
    3. The Board develops more detailed policies until they are comfortable with any reasonable interpretation the ED might make on more detailed matters.
      1. The ED may ask for more detailed policies if they desire more direction; and he/she may ask for policies to be deleted if they are too restrictive to allow for desireable operational flexibility.
      2. Hiring a new ED may provoke a revision of the policies to reflect the greater or lesser sophistication of the new hire.
      3. The key criterion is the comfort level of the Board; policies define the limit of their direction to the ED.
    4. The subheadings below are examples of the issues that often require additional specification. Each Board will have unique concerns that determine the final list of policies.
    1. ENDS POLICIES: Vision
      How the world is different because of the organization's existence. An outcome without specific mention of any programs or activities.
    2. ENDS POLICIES: Mission
      The broad programmatic efforts that will achieve the vision.
    3. ENDS POLICIES: Strategic Plan
      In pursuit of its mission, the Board has provided a three-year strategic plan. To ensure plan focuses the organization appropriately..
      1. the plan will be updated yearly;
      2. the ED will ensure that staff operational plans are an extension of the strategic plan
      3. the ED will further ensure that there is an organizational development plan in place to create the capability and capacity needed to implement their operational plans.
    The ED may not cause or allow any practice, activity, decision, or organizational circumstance that is either unlawful, imprudent, in violation of commonly accepted business and professional practices, in violation of the Boards stated policies, or likely to threaten the reputation of the organization.
    1. Treatment of Members
    2. Treatment of Staff and Volunteers
    3. Financial Planning and Budgeting
    4. Financial Condition and Activity
    5. Emergency ED Succession
    6. Asset Protection
    7. Compensation and Benefits
    8. Communication and Support to the Board
    9. Ends Focus of Grants or Contracts
    The Board of [organization] shall act on behalf of the [client population] to ensure that the work of the organization achieves its stated purpose (vision, mission, plan) at an appropriate cost, and avoids any unacceptable actions or conditions.
    1. Governing Style
    2. Board Job Description
    3. Agenda Planning
    4. Chairperson's Role
    5. Board Members Code of Conduct
    6. Board Committee Principles
    7. Cost of Governance
    The board's sole official connection to the operational organization, its achievements, and conduct will be through an Executive Director.
    1. Unity of Control
    2. Accountability of the ED
    3. Delegation to the ED
    4. Monitoring ED Performance
Back to Top