What distinguishes high-impact nonprofit organizations from their good-enough (or worse) counterparts? On the basis of our combined 60 years as students, leaders, and advisors of organizations in the nonprofit sector, we developed a model for analyzing the essential elements that define excellence in the sector.
We have discussed these “essentials,” and the way that most nonprofits struggle to master them, in a number of our Forbes articles. We also describe them at length in our book, Engine of Impact: Essentials of Strategic Leadership in the Nonprofit Sector. There are seven elements in our model: mission, strategy, impact evaluation, insight and courage, organization and talent, funding, and board governance.
In listing these elements, we purposely designate board governance as the final item in the series. It is, in effect, the capstone element that brings all of the other elements together—the one that keeps an organization moving forward while also keeping it on track.
Read more about the critical importance of board governance in our Forbes column here.