The New Work of the Nonprofit Board

by Barbara E. Taylor, Richard P. Chait, and Thomas P. Holland

Editor’s Note: The new work of the nonprofit board isn’t new anymore—in fact it wasn’t very new when the authors wrote this article in the mid-1990s. But the old ways can be deeply entrenched, and the best practices that Taylor, Chait, and Holland describe still haven’t been universally adopted—the statistics in the sidebar “The Sorry State of Nonprofit Boards,” drawn from a study done 20 years after this article appeared in HBR, prove that. Nevertheless, “old boards” can learn to do the new work, and this piece provides a road map for evolving from “a collection of high-powered people engaged in low-level activities” into a dynamic, goal-driven ...

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