SOURCE: Neighborworks America
WASHINGTON, DC--(Marketwire - Sep 19, 2012) - Today NeighborWorks America and BoardSource announced that each of the 13 organizations selected for their Excellence in Governance program will receive $10,000 to further their journey towards board governance excellence. Begun in March 2011, the 18-month customized program aims to help high-performing community development corporation boards become exceptional and advance their organization's performance. At a time when nonprofits are struggling in a weak economy, engaged boards are crucial to financial and programmatic oversight to ensure that organizations can continue to serve those most in need.
In a feedback survey, 85 percent of participants in the program who responded reported engaging differently with their full boards as a result of the pilot. Some examples of changes in board work include more generative discussions, process and governance improvements and higher levels of board engagement.
NeighborWorks America, which creates opportunities for people to live in affordable homes, improve their lives and strengthen their communities, and BoardSource, which is dedicated to advancing the public good by building excellent nonprofit boards and inspiring board service, created this project to help measure the impact of the time and effort of board interaction on organizational success. By measuring the effects, NeighborWorks America and BoardSource seek to identify the aspects of governance that improve organizational oversight for all types and sizes of nonprofits.
In the program, each organization identified a four member leadership team, including the executive director or other senior staff person who works closely with the board, and three current or emerging board leaders. Each full board completed a self-assessment using an assessment tool developed by BoardSource. The data from this self-assessment served as a benchmark for the pilot. Each team and its coach formulated one or more performance challenges that would elevate their effectiveness in governing. Each leadership team received support from a coach.
Thirteen organizations were selected for the prestigious program and received grants. Ten of the organizations are members of the NeighborWorks network, which consists of more than 235 nonprofits, located in every state, the District of Columbia and Puerto Rico. These NeighborWorks organizations are the following: Homeport (Columbus, OH); HomeSight (Seattle, WA); Homewise (Santa Fe, NM); NeighborImpact (Bend, OR); Neighborhood Housing Services of Greater Cleveland (Cleveland, OH); NeighborWorks Rochester (Rochester, NY); Nuestra Comunidad (Roxbury, MA); Portland Housing Center (Portland, OR); Select Milwaukee (Milwaukee, WI); and The Primavera Foundation (Tucson, AZ). Three of the organizations are non-NeighborWorks organizations: CASA of Oregon (Sherwood, OR); Housing Partnerships, Inc. (Columbus, IN); and Rebuilding Together Twin Cities (Minneapolis, MN).
"NeighborWorks America is working with BoardSource to help boards that are already very strong reach an even higher level of achievement and impact," said Eileen Fitzgerald, chief executive officer of NeighborWorks America. "We know our NeighborWorks network is making a difference in communities and we see the board of each organization as an integral part of building these strong communities."
"Because nonprofit organizations impact every aspect of society, it is critical that they not only survive but thrive," said Linda C. Crompton, president and chief executive officer, BoardSource. "You can have the right number of people around the table, the right number of committees, and a clear understanding of your role, but to truly thrive, a board needs to demonstrate thoughtfulness, intentionality, engagement, and productive communication."
To watch a video about the Excellence in Governance program, go to http://nw.org/excellenceingov. For more information about NeighborWorks America, visit nw.org.
About NeighborWorks America
NeighborWorks America creates opportunities for people to improve their lives and strengthen their communities by providing access to homeownership and to safe and affordable rental housing. In the last five years, NeighborWorks organizations have generated more than $19.5 billion in reinvestment in these communities. NeighborWorks America is the nation's leading trainer of community development and affordable housing professionals.