BoardWorks website recently published a review of ” A Board Member’s Handbook for Small (and Very Small) Nonprofits” by Erik Handberg

The review starts: “Aotearoa New Zealand has around 28,000 charities and another 24,000 incorporated societies. Many fit into the small or very small category consistent with this book’s title. When there are no paid staff, or perhaps just one, how do the rules of governance need to vary to get the job done?

The author has spent more than 20 years working with nonprofits, big and small, as a director and as paid leadership. He has written three similar ‘little books’ on related matters.

First, and importantly, this set in an American context. Boards in the US nonprofit sector tend to be larger, place a strong fundraising imperative on members, give the President (chair) an elevated role and can have a plethora of committees (all too common here too).

What the author does with some success is remind us of the basic responsibilities of a board in any context. He cites these as:

  • clarity of and adherence to mission
  • creation of policy (how we fulfil the mission); and
  • financial oversight (both adequate resource and necessary scrutiny) … “

<Read the full review>

The book is available in various formats from