Here are additional observations from the Urban Institute study on nonprofit governance:
Executive directors were asked to assess their boards on a variety of performance factors using a four-point scale: (A) not at all active, not very active, somewhat active, very active; or (B) poor, fair, good, excellent.
- Very active
- Financial oversight – 52%
- Setting organizational policy – 52%
- Fundraising – 29%
- Monitoring programs and services – 32%
- Monitoring the board’s own performance – 17%
- Planning for the future – 44%
- Community relations – 27%
- Educating the public about the organization and its mission – 23%
- Not active (combining not very active and not at all active)
- Fundraising – 35%
- Monitoring programs and services – 24%
- Monitoring the board’s own performance – 45%
- Community relations – 31%
- Educating the public about the organization and its mission – 33%
- Fair or poor
- Fundraising – 51%
- Monitoring the board’s own performance – 51%
- Educating the public about the organization and its mission – 42%
- Community relations – 36%
- Planning for the future – 30%
- Monitoring programs and services – 29%
- Financial oversight – 18%
- Setting organizational policy – 21%
- Evaluating CEO/executive director – 26%
- Organizational size was generally positively associated with board activity in carrying out internally oriented activities, but negatively associated with activity levels in externally oriented roles.
- Having a paid professional executive director was negatively associated with board activity levels in fundraising, monitoring programs, community relations, and monitoring the board’s own performance, but positively associated with financial oversight, evaluating the CEO/executive director, and acting as a sounding board for management.
- 70% of nonprofits are having difficulty recruiting board members; 20% are finding it very difficult.
- Racial and Ethnic Diversity:
- 86% of board members are white, non-Hispanic*
- 7% are African-American or black
- 3.5% are Hispanic/Latino
- 3.5% are from other ethnic backgrounds
* 51% of nonprofit boards are composed of exclusively white, non-Hispanic members.
- Gender Diversity:
- 94% of nonprofit boards include women
- 46% of board members are women
- Percentage of women on boards is inversely related to organizational size (e.g., only 29% of board members of organizations with annual expenses over $40 million are women)
Click here for the full Urban Institute study.
Click here for Jack Siegel’s article on the Urban Institute study from Charity Governance.