Board of Trustee Leadership Annotated Bibliographies


1.  Carver, John. Alan Shrader, ed. Boards that Make a Difference: A New Design for Leadership in Nonprofit and Public Organizations. April 1997.

…updated policy samples, a new chapter on the process of policy development, and additional resources for various types of boards. …board job design, board-staff relationships, the chief executive role, performance monitoring, and virtually every aspect of the board-management relationship…he offers a board model designed to produce policies that make a difference, missions that are clearly articulated, standards that are ethical and prudent, meetings, officers, and committees that work, and leadership that supports the fulfillment of long-term goals.

2.  Carver, John. Reinventing Your Board: A Step-by-Step Guide to Implementing Policy Governance.September 1997.

…serves as a practical manual for implementing the Policy Governance model and provides guidelines for staying on track…offer practical advice on such matters as setting the agenda, monitoring CEO performance, defining the board role, and more. Step-by-step instructions, sample policies, illustrations, exercises, and other practical materials make this a valuable resource for boards wanting to improve the performance of organizations in the public and nonprofit sectors through effective board leadership.

3.  Carver, John.  Basic Principles of Policy Governance. June 1996.

Offers board members a clear understanding of the concepts and principles that are at the very heart of John Carver’s innovative Policy Governance model. Presents the guidelines needed to transform your board members into a unified group that consistently makes powerful contributions to its organization.

4.  Carver, John.  John Carver on Board Leadership.November 2001.

…gathered together in one comprehensive volume his most noteworthy articles and essays, including original essays, the best of the Board Leadership newsletter, and articles from myriad publications… covers a wealth of critical topics such as achieving meaningful diversity in the boardroom, protecting board integrity, handling staff complaints, evaluating the mission statement, making informed fiscal policy, owning the board agenda, evaluating the CEO, and knowing when (and when not) to form committees.

5.  Chait, William. Governance as Leadership: Reframing the Work of Non-Profit Boards. 2005.

…Informed by theories that have transformed the practice of organizational leadership, this book sheds new light on the traditional fiduciary and strategic work of the board and introduces a critical third dimension of effective trusteeship: generative governance. It serves boards as both a resource of fresh approaches to familiar territory  and a lucid guide to important new territory, and provides a road map that leads nonprofit trustees and executives to governance as leadership.

 6.  Duca, Diane. Nonprofit Boards: Roles, Responsibilities, and Performance.1996.

This hands-on guide, geared specifically to the nonprofit sector, explores that difference. On these pages, executive directors as well as experienced and first-time board members will find all the tools they need to effectively carry out their organization’smission and manage its financial resources. Clear, concise, and easy-to-implement strategies cover all the major areas: organization and structure, roles and responsibilities, and accountability and ethics. Presents a variety ofboard models, the pros and cons of each, and guidelines for determining which model to use.

7. Riggio, Ronald, ed. Improving Leadership in Not-for-Profit Organizations.November 2003.

…a comprehensive resource that goes beyond traditional nonprofit management theory to offer the latest in cutting-edge thought on leadership for nonprofit organizations. The book offers a wealth of new directions and ideas for leadership and features chapters written by such well-known experts as Frances Hesselbein, Stephen Dobbs, Florence Green, and Jay Conger.

8. Scott, Kathryn Tyler. Creating Caring and Capable Boards: Reclaiming the Passion for Active Trusteeship. March 2000.

Written for board members, nonprofit executives, and leadership consultants…This leadership model can also serve as a framework for implementing strategies more effectively. Based on more than ten years of practical experience, this step-by-step process can help new and experienced trustees to refine their understanding of the organizational mission while improving their ability to lead cohesively. Author Katherine Tyler Scott also explores the historical context of board service, explains the duties of board trustees, and offers straightforward exercises for real-world application.” “For years, this approach was only available in workshops conducted by Trustee Leadership Development, Inc. Now boards and nonprofit teams can refer to a single, reliable source for thoughtful advice and the latest insights on trustee leadership…this ground breaking book invites boards to renew their commitment to improving the social sector through caring and competent leadership.

9. Sheehan, Lourdes, RSM, Ed.D. Building Better Boards: A Handbook for Board Members in Catholic Education. 2008.

…Although the primary focus of this handbook is Catholic school boards and boards of trustees, the principles and much of the materials are easily adaptable to councils, commissions, and committees for other diocesan, parish and religious education programs. Sample constitutions for a variety of educational governance structures are in the appendices.

10. Wood, Miriam. Nonprofit Boards and Leadership: Cases on Governance, Change and Board-Staff Dynamics.1996.

…real-life cases in this book include: An elite hands-off board of a social service agency has suddenly learned that millions of dollars of debt threaten the organization’s survival. The community-oriented mission statement identified by the board of directors is in opposition with the revenue-generating policies of the hospital’s corporate parent. A board member grapples with accommodating her personal philosophy of philanthropy with her foundation’s priorities in evaluating grant proposals. The executive director and the board chair disagree about the board’s ethics, role, and decision-making.Nonprofit Boards and Leadership provides a hands-on feel for the complex issues that challenge today’s board members.