Very rarely do emerging leaders take a college course titled, “How to Lead a Nonprofit Board of Governors.” More commonly, nonprofit board members learn on the job through a long process of trial and error.

That’s where the Corporate Directors Forum comes into play.

The organization aims to help directors and other senior executives be better leaders through education and peer networking.

Nonprofit Leadership Workshop

Last month, The San Diego Foundation teamed up with Corporate Directors Forum to provide an educational workshop for current and aspiring nonprofit board members and directors. The two-hour course took attendees through best practices, conflict of interest procedures, and the most common mistakes to avoid on the job.

Led by University of San Diego Dean of Law Stephen C. Ferruolo and law professor Miranda Perry Fleischer, the workshop got down to the brass tacks of effective nonprofit leadership.

Ferruolo emphasized the importance of an organization’s mission.  “All strategies, decisions and projects should fit within the formal mission statement,” he shared.

When reviewing common mistakes, each speaker focused on the value of transparency. Nonprofit leaders can build a strong reputation and instill confidence among peers, staff, and the community with a transparent organization.

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The speakers also went into a deep dive about fiduciary duties, and pertinent tax law, including many rules and regulations that leaders too often overlook. For example, detailing how and when board directors are personally liable for actions at an organization.