The Board Doctor’s Kit: 10 Webinars for Board Success

The Board Doctor’s Kit was designed as a group of 10 webinars, delivered live last year, with topics that go together.  In some cases, the content of one webinar builds on material presented in a previous webinar. We think it makes sense for groups and individuals to view them all together, so we are making the whole kit-and-kaboodle available here for one payment and one set of downloads. The complete series contains more than 40 documents. Each one of these 45-60 minute webinars would cost $129 if you signed up for one of the classes Cathy gives on a big-name online learning site, but she is making this same material available on at a price even very small nonprofit organizations can afford.

Webinar Topics (see description below)


Webinar Topics:

1. Governance 101: Board Member Roles & Responsibilities
You are all volunteers. You agreed to join the board because someone asked you to help and you care about the cause. Often, however, especially in smaller organizations, few members of the board have much experience governing a corporation. The urgency of organizing programs and events overwhelms the board’s ability to spend any time reviewing legal requirements, ensuring fiscal accountability, or developing infrastructure. In this foundational workshop, The Board Doctor reviews best practices and explain what the law (and many donors and volunteers) expect from the board of directors.

2. The Complete Board Handbook: Compiling Your Board’s Policies
Putting together a strong board handbook is about more than compliance with best practices. A robust set of governing policies, including position descriptions, financial controls, gift acceptance, etc. can be hugely liberating! In this workshop, we take a quick tour of a comprehensive board handbook, complete with samples and a simple process for drafting, reviewing and adopting policies without sucking the air out of your boardroom. Come see how a strong policy manual liberates the board from many day to day hassles and pick up some templates and models for your organization to customize for your own needs.

3. Recruiting a Great Board of Directors: The Board Doctor’s Top 10 Strategies
Developing a well-rounded board of directors is Job #1 when it comes to having a strong organization capable of achieving its mission. Burn out is a common phenomenon, with a few heroic board members carrying the freight for the entire group. The Board Doctor discusses high-yield strategies for analyzing your board’s needs and building a membership or volunteer pipeline to board service. She helps you design a program of orientation and ongoing communication that will keep board members engaged and active throughout their tenure. There’s no need to go it alone! Come learn The Board Doctor’s steps to building and maintaining a great board. As a special bonus, Cathy steps you through a recruitment technique using LinkedIn she’s been successfully implementing for her clients over the past few years.

4. Board Fundraising: The Board’s Role in Fundraising
Nearly every executive director who calls The Board Doctor, LLC looking for help with a “disengaged board” is really talking about fundraising. Whether it is because they fear asking for money or they misunderstand their role, too many board members are waiting for others to do the critical work of securing the resources the organization needs to achieve its mission. The good news is that most of the work of fundraising does not involve making an actual “ask.” In this workshop we explore all parts of the fundraising process and learn ways for every member of the board to get involved in a way that is comfortable and productive.

5. Committees That Work: Getting Stuff Done Between Meetings
No matter how big or small an organization is, sometimes committees work better in theory than they do in practice. Too much is being done by too few. Busy schedules, unclear roles and responsibilities, and poor communication all make it difficult for a board’s committees to function in an effective way. Come learn some tips and tricks for promoting healthy committee work and maybe plan some concrete action steps for getting your group back on track. We also cover which committees most boards need and review the basic responsibilities of each.

6. Strategic Planning That Sticks: Content and Process for Plans You’ll Use
“We invested all this time on planning two years ago but haven’t looked at the plan since,”
“No one knows what the future will bring. There’s no way to plan.”
“We’re too busy to write a plan. We’re just volunteers.”
The Board Doctor has heard it all. So many of us have been involved in planning processes that just didn’t last. They maybe brought clarity for a short time but certainly didn’t have any long-term effect. We discuss the pros and cons of strategic planning for your organization, review the basic elements of a good plan, and discuss ways to keep a plan fresh and alive. We also talk about alternatives to strategic planning and discover options that may better suit your board of directors.

7. Guidestar Profiles: The Story You Want to Tell
What does your organization’s public profile say about the work you do? Are you telling the story of impact that you want to be telling? Every nonprofit organization in our country has a public profile on If you file a 990 tax return, it is posted there, available to anyone with a free login. Amazon Smile, Network for Good, and many others pull information from Guidestar to inform their donors. Other donors do their research about causes on Guidestar and use the “Donate Now” feature to send money directly to their chosen organizations. Guidestar lets us provide additional information about programs, values, financials, board members and other leaders, and more. Bronze, Silver, Gold, and Platinum Transparency ratings are awarded as more information is disclosed. Come learn how to claim and build out your organization’s public profile.

8. Healthy Board-Executive Director Relationship
For organizations to thrive, board members and executive directors must be on the same page regarding their different roles and expectations. Like any relationship, it takes effort to make it as effective (and enjoyable) as possible. In this session, we share best practices and strategies for intentionally setting the relationship on the best possible foundation. We discuss how the board’s role of governance differs from staff’s role of administration (or operations) and programs, and talk through ways to approach shared responsibilities like budgeting and planning from the different perspectives.

9. Introduction to Board Self-Assessment: The Board Doctor’s Annual Checkup (Tools for Successful Self Evaluation)
Board service comes with responsibilities. Both state and federal laws place requirements on nonprofit board members. In addition to the legal duties and fiduciary obligations, there are ethical and good governance considerations for dealing with staff, fundraising, planning, evaluation, and more. The Board Doctor’s Annual Checkup is a 100-item master checklist that allows board members to self-assess how well their board is doing against these requirements and best practices and then decide what, if anything, they want to address. The webinar steps participants through the process and why it matters and even provides information about a variety of self-assessment tools available for those who wish to do some shopping.

10. Governance is the New Nominations: The Role and Function of a Modern Governance Committee
Nonprofits often have nominations committees responsible for putting forward nominees for board membership and officer positions. After the rush to find and enlist suitable candidates, many board leaders and executive directors experience a lack of board engagement. As the theory and practice of nonprofit board governance evolves, one of the best inventions has been the Governance Committee—a group of board members working year-round on the health and well-functioning of the board of directors. Come learn how you can replace your Nominations Committee with a Governance Committee to benefit from ongoing board development and recruiting.