Good non-profit governance comes from a board that can comply with agreed principles. Much of this comes from leadership which in turn is derived from experience and expertise. So, with many non-profits searching to improve governance with existing board members and when recruiting new board members what do ‘good principals’ look like?

We have some great role models here in New Zealand and yet it is always interesting to see what suggestions can be gleaned from other countries. We came across a great set of principles and guidelines from the Australian Institute of Directors – this is a set of 10 principles they suggest are a good starting point for NFP boards to consider.

  • Clarity regarding individual board member roles and responsibilities
  • A board composition that builds upon capability and effective functioning
  • Ability to define vision, purpose and strategy
  • Recognise and manage risk
  • Determine and assess performance categories and indicators
  • Ensure the board is run effectively and efficiently in all dealings
  • Deliver on transparency and accountability relating to information, including financial
  • Enhance the capacity and capability of the organisation
  • Set the tone for ethics and culture of the organisation
  • Help engage key stakeholders

The above overview outlines quite a task for the board and for more information around these guiding principles we suggest you view the entire booklet and make it available for the board as a whole.

Reference: Australian Institute of Directors