Stop the Nonprofit Board Blame Game

How to Break the Cycle of Frustrating Relationships

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Pub Date 04 Jan 2022 | Archive Date 28 Feb 2023
Greenleaf Book Group, River Grove Books

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“Why don’t board members do what they’re supposed to do?”

Board members not meeting performance expectations is one of the most challenging issues faced by nonprofit organizations and causes considerable frustration among nonprofit leaders—and they usually place the blame on board members.

However, much of what has been written on this topic is based on opinions and experiences of staff professionals, with solutions focused on more training of the board members. Yet the problem persists. So whatever advice that has been offered hasn’t worked. This book is different.

Author and expert leadership consultant Hardy Smith shows that most difficulties contributing to boards not performing as desired are self-inflicted by leaders who repeat flawed practices that could be avoided. As a result, Smith provides what numerous other books on this topic have not: truly effective solutions.

Stop the Nonprofit Board Blame Game

•uses feedback from a wide variety of board members to reveal their unique perspectives;

• explains why performance problems exist;

• identifies realistic, results-oriented solutions;

• shares proven how-tos for taking action.

This book is the only guide you need to improve the engagement and effectiveness of your board and strengthen relationships. It will constructively transform your organization.

“Why don’t board members do what they’re supposed to do?”

Board members not meeting performance expectations is one of the most challenging issues faced by nonprofit organizations and causes...

Advance Praise

“Hardy Smith has the credibility to write Stop the Nonprofit Board Blame Game as a tool to address the concerns of tens of thousands of nonprofit boards. This exciting new book offers real-world situations. Answers are provided based on extensive research, years of consultation, and the citations of respected business authors and leaders. A must-read for nominating committees to draw the best volunteer candidates.”  —Bob Harris, CAE,

“I really like the use of personal stories along with the depth and diversity of other sources—not just nonprofit or fundraising sources—that make this book very, very cool! The included surveys and interviews are great and supported with lots of good examples, tips, and resources.” —Simone P. Joyaux, ACFRE, Adv Dip, FAFP, author of Keep Your Donors, Strategic Fund Development, and Firing Lousy Board Members

“In the 30-plus years I’ve worked with nonprofits, board performance and engagement have always been a challenge. Hardy’s strategies, helpful anecdotes, and sound recommendations will help strengthen the effectiveness of your board.” —Alyce Lee Stansbury, CFRE, founder/president, Stansbury Consulting

“Hardy Smith has compiled the most complete work on how to recruit, reward, and retain a high-performing nonprofit board that I have ever read. Don’t put it on a shelf; keep it on your desk as a guide!” —Barry Banther, chairman of the board, National Speakers Association, former chairman of the board, Florida State Board of Independent Colleges and Universities

“Hardy offers an in-depth look at board dynamics and practical ways to get staff and the board operating in a positive and productive manner. A must-read for nonprofit organizations.” —Frank Rudd, CAE, CMP, president and CEO, Florida Society of Association Executives

“Hardy’s book, Stop the Nonprofit Board Blame Game, is every organization’s ‘must-have handbook’ for developing the right board that goes beyond the current status quo. Engaging, informative, and solution oriented, this book should be included in your organization’s handout to all board members. As a board member, you will learn the techniques and strategies that will allow you to hit the ground running and increase your nonprofit’s performance, giving you a sense of pride for a job well done.” —Candace Lightner, founder of Mothers Against Drunk Driving and We Save Lives

“Hardy Smith has successfully taken on the complex challenge of nonprofit board engagement. Stop the Nonprofit Board Blame Game identifies causes that contribute to board members not meeting expectations and provides solid action strategies to overcome those issues.” —Nick Craw, former director, Peace Corps

“In his personally researched book, Stop the Nonprofit Board Blame Game, Hardy Smith identifies tangible and time-tested processes that go a long way toward improving the effectiveness, rewards, and meaningful outcomes from leaders serving on boards of directors.” —Tim Jackson, CMP, CAE, president and CEO, Colorado Automobile Dealers Association

“Hardy Smith’s new book on boards, including chamber boards, is a must-read for all chamber CEOs, board chairs, and board members. The wisdom and words of advice contained in the pages will greatly improve your organization, when implemented.”   —Frank J. Kenny, founder, Chamber Pros Community

“Positive, productive relationships between board members and staff are the key to success for nonprofit boards. In this blueprint, Hardy Smith provides tips for avoiding relationship mistakes that contribute to board member disengagement.” —Ruby Newell-Legner, fan experience expert at 7 Star Service, past president, National Speakers Association

“Most board books are written from the organization’s perspective. Hardy has flipped the script and highlights volunteers’ voices, offering a unique approach to stopping the blame game.” —Mary Byers, CAE, CSP, author of Race for Relevance: 5 Radical Changes for Associations

“This is the book we’ve needed. Hardy provides a fresh perspective on the challenges faced by nonprofit boards. He provides lighthearted but meaningful analogies combined with practical solutions. The guided questions in each chapter allow nonprofit leaders to make real action plans that will lead to positive changes for their organizations.” —Sara Leonard, MBA, CFR, Sara Leonard Group

“Hardy Smith has the credibility to write Stop the Nonprofit Board Blame Game as a tool to address the concerns of tens of thousands of nonprofit boards. This exciting new book offers real-world...

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ISBN 9781632994806
PRICE $19.95 (USD)


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Average rating from 4 members

Featured Reviews

I am recommending this book to the leadership team of the small non-profit on which I serve as a board member. Smith's book is a great read for board members too. He weaves insights from board members from all types of organizations as well as references to books and articles with helpful tips on how best to leverage the relationships between boards and staff to help organizations achieve high performance. He talks about the importance of board selection and how to engage each board member as an individual and as a team. There are many helpful insights here that will be helpful to any not-for-profit board and staff.

I recommend this book.

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Thank you, River Grove Books, for the advance reading copy.

While this book gives the best practical steps on how to make Board relationships functional despite an existing failing one.

The tips given in this guidebook are few and simple to grasp and follow. However, nothing is as easy as it sounds especially when it comes to organisations, unexpected challenges and a team to handle.

The highlights of this new book would be the action oriented steps that would initiate the tips in general to adopt.

The chapters are short. The writing is easy for everyone to follow and understand.

The best part would be the areas where it is given with realistic scenarios on how to handle various conflicts we would face.

Go for this book if you're already in working or even if you're just entering into this world where you would face such situations and different people in a working environment.

You will gain lots from it. This book can be used as a manual guide as well for new trainees and will be specially useful for newly promoted staffs.

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