In the aftermath of every “non-profit mismanagement” news story is the question: Why didn’t the Board do something? Yet the Boards of the non-profits recently headlined with scandals such as outlandish compensation for executive directors, the use of organizational funds for personal luxuries, or nepotism did not do any less than most non-profit Boards. The reality is that most non-profit Boards are ineffective in their governing function. Only when gross mismanagement is discovered does a failure at governance come to the fore. Sometimes the failure does not involve personal scandal but reveals organizational laxity, such as an organization using funds raised for one purpose for other program areas.
The role of a board is to lead—to formulate and clarify mission and policies, raise, oversee, and manage funds, hire, supervise, support, and collaborate with the head—all through the lens of Jewish values. Resources on this topic provide guidance for day schools to find the right leaders, give structure to the board’s work, create successful board culture, and strengthen leadership during service.