Governance is our backbone

MeetingEffective governance is the backbone of an organization. The way a board leads speaks volumes about its effectiveness, values and ethics. Poor or ineffective board governance will bring an organization down. You and I have seen it happen time and time again.

Governance is at the core of everything we do here at the NCCF — and our statewide board of directors takes their roles both individually and collectively quite seriously.

We have a governance committee, chaired by Jim Black, who spends an enormous amount of time vetting and discussing potential board candidates. He and the committee spend even more time talking about ways to ensure ongoing board education and engagement. It really is both a science and an art.

We just held an orientation for our two newest board members. (You’ll be hearing more about them soon, but suffice it to say now that we arethrilled to have Juan Austin and Katharine (Kack) Harrison Hardin join our statewide board!) The orientation is a pretty extensive effort that did not start nor will it end today, but rather it is an ongoing process of education and achieving clarity. It really began during the recruitment process in talking with board prospects about our board culture and our organizational values.

I love the board orientation process, as it provides an opportunity to figure out how to talk about our work in a concise, interesting and approachable way. Our new board members are really smart and busy people who bring incredible expertise and real life experiences and lots of great questions. It is always a great exchange to offer up how we do something and then get asked “why?”  Why not this way? Or have you ever thought about this? I love curious people, and I love when folks ask questions because they are interested and because they often respond with new ideas.  

Our work here at the North Carolina Community Foundation is simple: we work to inspire giving across the state. But the “how’s” can be complex — and not always easy to grasp in a quick presentation. 

Talking with new board members is an opportunity to describe who we are, what we do and our collective hopes and dreams about where we are headed. It’s articulating the art of giving with the discipline required of definition. And I never tire of hearing it out loud.