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They are volunteers, too!
Look here for information and the latest techniques to develop your board or committee. The purpose is to help those who work or serve on nonprofit boards of directors or committees.

~ December 2004 ~ Topics

The Board's Role in Program Monitoring

Boards usually know they need to monitor the organization's financial affairs but they neglect another important monitoring role: monitoring the programs. Monitoring doesn't mean micro-managing. It means being in touch with what the organization is doing!

The board should:

  • Ask program staff at the beginning of a new program what they believe the outcomes from the program will be.
  • Be comfortable that all programs implement the organization's mission and the strategic plan.
  • Check with staff quarterly at board meetings to see how the programs are going and if any changes have been necessary.
  • Visit programs when possible.
  • Ask for a yearly report on the program regarding:
    • How closely it met the hoped-for outcomes
    • What unplanned positive outcomes were achieved
    • The cost of the program
    • How satisfied staff and clients were
    • What changes staff suggests should be made

Boards should be flexible about outcomes. Frequently a very good program will not fulfill many of the anticipated outcomes but will have even more positive unanticipated outcomes - outcomes that result from realities that weren't envisioned at the beginning of the program. What the board wants to foster is "continuous improvement" for the next year, based on the analysis of successful and unsuccessful outcomes.

Program monitoring helps a board's fundraising ability because they will know and can advocate for the value of the programs. It also helps staff feel that the board really cares and recognizes what they are doing.

Other good sources for information on nonprofits, boards and committees:

Jeanne Bradner can be reached at Jeannebrad@aol.com.

See our online bookstore for Jeanne Bradner's book on boards: The Board Member’s Guide: A Beneficial Bestiary and Leading Volunteers for Results: Building Communities Today, and Passionate Volunteerism.
Board Member's Guide Image Leading Volunteers Book Image Passionate Volunteerism Book link to bookstore

Jeanne H. Bradner

Jeanne H. Bradner is an author, consultant, trainer and speaker on volunteerism, board development and leadership. She is the author of three publications, The Board Member's Guide, A Beneficial Bestiary and Leading Volunteers for Results: Building Communities Today and Passionate Volunteerism. She served as director of the Illinois Governor's Office of Voluntary Action, Midwest Regional Director of ACTION, and Executive Director of the Illinois Commission on Community Service. She is the volunteer program specialist for Illinois' Harper College Volunteer Management curriculum.

Plan an EDU-VACATION - April 26-29, 2005

Training for managers of volunteers, leading to a certificate, is being held April 26-29, 2005. Sponsored by Washington State University, the Volunteer Management Certificate Program will be held in Port Hadlock, Washington, in the shadow of the Olympic Mountains. Topics include:

Recruitment Evaluation
Training Management and Supervision
Recognition Risk Management
Diversifying the Volunteer Pool The Internet as the Manager's Next Best Friend

Interactive Case Models based on student process is the focus of Learning Activities.
For more information, visit the website at: http://www.emmps.wsu.edu/volunteer.

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