Introduction and Study Design

The highest levels of performance come to people who are centered, intuitive, creative, and reflective—people who know to see a problem as an opportunity.

—Deepak Chopra, author, public speaker, and physician

The nonprofit sector is large and diverse, but on one point we agree: There has never been so much pressure on boards of directors to live up to stakeholders' expectations. A vast literature has accumulated on what good boards look like. Yet despite the accumulated knowledge, the burning question we hear often from nonprofit executives is, “We know what we are supposed to look like, but how do we get there?”

How do boards get from “good” to “great”? While many publications describe the qualities of nonprofit ...

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