BoardSource e-books

Are you taking advantage of the very best resources on board governance and fundraising? They're free to League members!

In order to serve you effectively, the League partners with groups such as BoardSource, a highly respected national organization that is the go-to resource on nonprofit boards. Through this partnership, League members have free access to BoardSource publications on a rotating basis. All BoardSource publications are succinct yet authoritative guides to best practice and current thinking.

The new titles now available for League members to download are:

Boardroom Chemistry: Getting Your Board to Govern as a Team
The Board Chair Handbook, Third Edition
Getting on Board with Effective Orientation

Boardroom Chemistry: Getting Your Board to Govern as a Team (Normally $30.00 – preview)

Every board struggles with group dynamics — the ways in which individual board members interact with each other and function (or don't) as an effective team. Successful boards have figured out how to make the most of the various relationships (chief executive to board, board chair to board, and board member to board member) so that the work of the board assumes greater importance than any individual or relationship. But, it's not easy. That's why BoardSource created Boardroom Chemistry: Getting Your Board to Govern as a Team. This book contains 24 tools designed to help your board function more effectively by focusing on the following:

  • Board composition (and the role played by board size and diversity)
  • Board structure (such as term limits and how structure can enhance or inhibit teambuilding)
  • Cultural and behavioral barriers (and how to understand and overcome them)
  • Ways to engage detached board members
  • Decision-making and other meeting practices
  • Listening skills (and how to develop them) and use them to resolve conflicts


The Board Chair Handbook, Third Edition (Normally $45.00 – preview)

This book is organized into three sections:

  • The Foundation: Building Individual Capacity (Part I) focuses on preparing to take on the tasks and responsibilities of the board chair, beginning with an exploration of the personal decision to accept the job and covering roles, relationships, and skills.
  • The Journey: Optimizing the Work of the Board (Part II) deals with the application of strong leadership and sound governance practices with a focus on board process and board tasks.
  • The Finale: Creating Endings and New Beginnings (Part III) addresses how to prepare for the end of your term as board chair, the importance of closure, and answering, “What’s next?”

Each chapter ends with a list of Board Chair’s Reminders—key tasks to help you do your job effectively. Appendix 1 provides a summary of these lists. Appendix 2 lists the twelve principles of exceptional governance found in The Source (BoardSource, 2005).



Getting on Board with Effective Orientation (Normally $30.00 – preview)

Congratulations! You’ve recruited talented and eager board members. Your work is done—or is it? New board members should not be left on their own to figure out what to do next. By putting them through an effective orientation program, you will strengthen your board and empower your entire organization. Board members who are oriented properly are more knowledgeable about governing and better prepared to oversee your nonprofit’s strategic direction, allowing you to make the best use of their expertise. In this book you’ll find proven advice and practical tips, along with questions to stimulate board discussion around important orientation topics. The 34 tools address the benefits of orientation, the governance committee’s role, what to include in an orientation manual, the benefits of mentoring, individual board member responsibilities, ways to create regular opportunities for board education, and many more issues about board orientation. The toolkit also provides samples of a board member letter of agreement, an agenda for an orientation retreat, and the contents of a board orientation manual.