September Issue of “Leadership Matters” Examines Effectiveness of Nonprofit Boards

Offers five drivers of better performance


oston, MA -- (ReleaseWire) -- 09/07/2006 --Nonprofit board members were once thought to be effective if they donated funds or services, or persuaded others to donate, at a certain level to the organization. According to research conducted by the Bridgespan Group in collaboration with the Edna McConnell Clark Foundation, fundraising is still important, but it is no longer sufficient to help organizations deal with growing needs, challenges, and regulations confronting the sector.

Insights from the research appear in the September issue of “Leadership Matters.” Published by Bridgestar, a nonprofit initiative of the Bridgespan Group dedicated to attracting, connecting and supporting senior leaders for the sector, the current “Leadership Matters” discusses key steps board can take improve effectiveness.

Many boards take a “checklist” approach to ensure they are meeting their minimum oversight responsibilities such as oversight of the executive director, financial health and controls and legal activities such as independent audits.

“But oversight alone is not sufficient to create an effective board,” notes David Simms, Managing Director, Bridgestar. “Instead, the Bridgespan team found that how the board does its work is as important as what it does. By evaluating the five critical factors discussed in detail in the current ‘Leadership Matters’ – people, culture, decision-making processes, information flows, and structures – organizations can bring clarity to what they need from their boards, and what each board member can provide, based on his or her skills and interests. The article notes that the solution for how to become a more effective board will generally be different for each organization because each of those factors vary widely from one organization to the next. But addressing those five factors will help answer questions about how to choose the ‘right’ approaches for each organization.”

The current issue of “Leadership Matters” is available at:

Subscriptions are available to all Bridgestar members. For a complimentary subscription, please email In addition to the report, the issue includes an article, “The Effective Board: A Detailed Guide.”

Each month “Leadership Matters” picks a different theme designed as a conversation about how to build and sustain effective nonprofit organizations. The newsletter is available to Bridgestar members or, for a complimentary subscription, please email In addition, Bridgestar offers a robust portfolio of offerings to help both nonprofit organizations and senior leaders make meaningful, appropriate matches. Bridgestar sponsors monthly “Bridging to the Nonprofit Sector” seminars designed for senior leaders in the private sector who are considering switching to the nonprofit sector, offers recruiting services, a job board, board-matching services and a Chief Operating Officer LISTSERV® that grew out of the need of nonprofit COOs to connect and share their questions and ideas.

About Bridgestar
Bridgestar, an initiative of the Bridgespan Group, is a nonprofit organization providing talent-matching services, content, and tools designed to help organizations build strong leadership teams and individuals pursue career paths as nonprofit leaders. Bridgestar’s goal is to attract, connect, and support senior talent, leading to greater organizational effectiveness and social impact.