Board Development & Governance

Engaged and strong governance boards don’t just happen: They are crafted by intentional and understanding leadership, a strong board development plan, and continuously engaging board members in both strategic conversations and practical training.

Governance and engagement strategy

Getting the board engaged in governance and fundraising, and participating fully, can be a challenge – one that takes time, strong recruitment and onboarding, and clear expectations. Our experts have helped hundreds of organizations improve governance by starting with issue number one: engaging the board to fulfill its governance responsibilities.

Our team covers the full range of governance areas and engagement strategies, with offerings and trainings that include:

  • Board assessments and transformation strategy
  • Comprehensive board development plans covering growth, skill-building, and recruitment
  • Board retreat design and facilitation for organizational planning, board structuring, effective committee work, and governance process design
  • Executive succession and transition plans to prepare boards and executives for planned and unplanned departures
  • Custom training in all dimensions of governance, including roles and responsibilities, fundraising skills, management collaboration, investment oversight, risk management, nonprofit accountability, and financial acumen

Board recruitment & development

Board development starts with focused recruitment efforts, thorough onboarding, and ongoing engagement of board members. Best practices regarding nonprofit boards are evolving amidst the pandemic, and will continue to do so, but our team has the understanding and foresight to prepare you for what’s next.  

Five ways our experts help build great boards:

  • Recruitment assistance: Determining the skills and values you need, and helping the board build its plan for skill-based recruitment and candidate identification
  • Onboarding strategies that ensure new directors gain a solid understanding of roles and responsibilities, strategic purpose, and how they add value
  • Board development plans for engaging and training the board regarding expectations, roles, and responsibilities
  • Best practices for resetting your board governance design and strategies to fit current trends and expectations
  • Board assessments and recommendations for improvements, reorganization, and ways to address board conflict

To learn more about how GCN’s Nonprofit Consulting Group can make the most of your board, contact us at or 678-916-3082.

Insights from our team

Boards are evolving as new generations take leadership positions, bringing with them a different set of expectations and reasons for volunteering. Among the effects: Boards are getting smaller, with more strategy conversations and shorter, less frequent meetings.

Strong recruitment and onboarding is the investment you make to get an engaged and active board member: It takes time, planning, and a process that demonstrates who you are to prospective board members.

Fundraising is now the responsibility of every board member, not just development committee members: We are moving to a peer-to-peer fundraising model where each board member asks the “contacts” in their social media channels to donate.