The Best of Boards: Sound Governance and Leadership for Nonprofit Organizations (Summary)

The Best of Boards: Sound Governance and Leadership for Nonprofit Organizations
By Marci Thomas, CPA, MHA and Kim Strom-Gottfried, Ph.D.

This book offers an introduction to the most important things that board members and nonprofit executives need to know.  Throughout the book are case studies, tools and templates that organizations can use.

  • Chapter 1 sets the stage by helping the reader understand the reasons why the content is important to governance of the nonprofit. 
  • Chapter 2 defines the different roles that management and the board hold in the nonprofit and discusses the boards’ responsibilities in the context of the Independent Sector’s good governance model.  Suggestions for implementation by smaller nonprofits are also included.
  • Chapter 3 discusses the legal and ethical imperatives that leaders encounter in nonprofit governance.  
  • Chapter 4 provides a framework for working through conflicts that arise. 
  • Chapter 5 provides an illustrated set of nonprofit financial statements along with the descriptions.
  • Chapter 6 is on risk management and discusses the uncertainty and risk that nonprofits face as well as methodologies that a board could use to deal with them.   This includes the risk nonprofits run related to external forces such as economic markets and the internal risk of fraud.  Also, included is a risk management checklist, which serves as a good starting point for a nonprofit in the identification of risks.
  • Chapter 7 discusses the internal controls that should be implemented to prevent or detect misstatements and fraud. 
  • Chapter 8 covers tax exempt status issues.
  • Chapter 9 covers the moral courage concept.
  • Chapter 10 discusses a change process for organizations going through change and effect it has on individuals. 
  • Chapter 11 synthesizes the book’s key points.


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