The Governance of Nonprofit Organizations

This course examines the governance of nonprofit organizations through the lens of a board of directors. You will explore what boards and the leadership volunteers who serve on them do and how they do it to maximize contributions to organizational effectiveness.

About The Course

This course examines the ways nonprofit boards and the volunteers that serve on them add positive value to their organizations. It also examines common issues that challenge nonprofit board effectiveness in the governance process. The course covers the governance environment in which boards and leadership volunteers operate.  

The aspect of the course that covers the “what” is the formal roles and responsibilities of boards whereas the “how” refers to the formal and non-formal approaches taken to carry out their roles vis a vis management of the organization. In addition to what and how, the course covers who, including leadership volunteers, board chairs, and chief executive officers (CEOs) with particular emphasis on developing leadership competency within the governance process.

Frequently Asked Questions

  • What resources will I need for this class?
    Access to a computer, Internet, word processing and excel spreadsheet applications. 
  • What will I do in this class? Learn about the governance of nonprofit organizations and help a board of directors assess and improve its governance effectiveness.  
  • What is the coolest thing I'll learn if I take this class? Knowledge and expertise of a critical function often ignored in nonprofit leadership courses.  
  • What background is expected for learners in this class? Interest in the subject matter, professionalism, and proficiency in oral and written communication. 

Recommended Background

This course is designed for students preparing for careers in the nonprofit sector and for those already in the sector looking for professional development and continuing education in the area of nonprofit governance.

This course is intended for students of Nonprofit Leadership and Philanthropy, Public Administration and Business Administration.  It will also appeal to board members, executive managers, staff and external stakeholders who interact with boards on a regular basis.