Learn

Resources + Tools

Get on Board: Nonprofit Governance Programs + Services

Nonprofit boards are legally and strategically central to the work of nonprofits. To adapt and thrive in a fast-changing world, nonprofits must have engaged boards.

Through a range of programs and services, MANP supports boards to explore for themselves:

Why do we exist? What’s our role? Who is at the table? How do we work together?

What’s the change we want to make in the world?

Is the organization meeting a need?

What are our responsibilities as board members?

Are we providing effective oversight and strategic direction to be accountable to our community?

How do we attract and engage board members with diverse skills, knowledge, and viewpoints?

Who are the partners and stakeholders whose voices we need to hear?

How do we build a culture of trust, inquiry, and respect?

What values and practices foster inclusive dialogue, thoughtful decision-making, and mission impact?

Key Programs + Services

  • Board Training: MANP offers training on board roles and responsibilities in several formats, including our one-hour Board Roles + Responsibilities webinars and full-day Board Boot Camps.
  • Board Self-AssessmentConducting regular board self-assessments is an important way to check your board’s vital signs and identify areas for development.
  • Board Basics Handbook: This electronic publication provides an overview of board roles and responsibilities along with suggested board activities.
  • Board Recruitment: In addition to our Strategic Board Recruitment Toolkit (videos + templates), Keys to Board Recruitment handbook (electronic publication), and a curated collection of resources on board recruitment and orientation, MANP is piloting a new service called Board Explorer to facilitate connections between individuals interested in serving on a board and organizations looking to enhance their boards with new perspectives and talents.
  • Governance Coaching Sessions: MANP is piloting free, virtual governance coaching sessions that pair nonprofit members with 2-3 thought partners with experience and insights related to nonprofit boards.
  • Additional Governance Training: MANP regularly schedules programs with dynamic speakers from across the country on governance topics, including the role of the board chair, the board’s role in fundraising, financial management for boards, and the board chair/executive director relationship. Watch our event listings!

Interested in Board Service?

Nonprofit board or committee service can be a rewarding way to invest in your community, meet incredible people, build new skills and boost your resume, but, where do you start?

  • “So, You Think You Want to Be on a Board” sessions are a great first step. Watch our event listings for upcoming dates! Companies can also invite MANP to deliver a private lunch and learn for their staff. Reach out to us at Learn@NonprofitMaine.org to discuss options.
  • The Emerging Leaders Program is a more in-depth program for people under 40 interested in boosting their leadership skills, expanding their personal and professional networks, and applying their leadership on nonprofit committees or boards.
  • Board Explorer is a new service designed to facilitate connections between individuals interested in serving on a board and organizations looking to enhance their boards with new perspectives and talents. Check it out!

About Our Get on Board Initiative

Through our Get on Board initiative MANP is strengthening and expanding our governance support with a particular focus on addressing recruitment challenges, serving rural communities and bringing an equity lens to our work. MANP is working to:

  • Champion board service and create pathways to board service for new audiences.
  • Support nonprofits in finding, recruiting and onboarding board members.
  • Review and update programs and tools to ensure the design and delivery of board development programs is accessible and empowering for all audiences.
  • Adapt training and resources on board roles and responsibilities to a variety of formats, particular virtual formats. 
  • Create opportunities for board members to learn with and from each other.
  • Leverage partnerships to bring proven programs to new regions and audiences. 
  • Strengthen the capacity of board leadership through programs targeted to board chairs, officers and the board chair/CEO partnership.

The Get on Board Initiative is funded in part by John T. Gorman Foundation, The Betterment Fund and Onion Foundation and is sponsored by Mainebiz.