Nonprofit Board Governance

The role and function of each applicant’s governing board is an important element of our review process. The Weingart Foundation believes that a strong, engaged and knowledgeable board is a critical factor in a nonprofit organization’s ability to be effective, self-sustaining and achieve impact.

Therefore, during each grant review, we will discuss with the applicant the role and function of the governing board, recognizing that all nonprofits are unique, are at different stages of their organizational development, and may have regulatory requirements regarding governance matters. Based on best practices related to effective board governance, we believe that nonprofit boards best equipped to lead their organizations will have and/or demonstrate a commitment to achieving:

  • Membership that reflects the diversity and key interests of the communities served;
  • Cultural competence in relation to communities served;
  • A clear understanding of how they can contribute to the success of the organization;
  • A constructive partnership with their chief executive and management;
  • Active solicitation of funds for the organization, as well as personally meaningful financial contributions;
  • An understanding of the organization’s financial position and regularly review financial reports;
  • A committee structure to meet the needs of the organization (e.g. – audit, executive);
  • An evaluation of the chief executive officer’s performance on an annual basis;
  • Frequent meetings, with strong attendance;
  • A commitment to continually improving their performance;
  • A clear strategy for recruiting new board members with relevant skills and backgrounds; and
  • A process to orient new members to the organization, including mission, bylaws, policies, programs and key stakeholders.