South Florida Muslim leadership completed training on board governance, third installment in a series of six capacity building workshops conducted by Tayyab Yunus, President of Center on Muslim Philanthropy in partnership with SFL Muslim Federation. Attended by Muslim NPOs from the tri-county area, the workshop was regarded as ‘insightful’ and ‘informative’ by the attendees. The 90-mimute session covered what board governance encompasses and strategies that a board can adopt for success and cohesion.
When talking about non-profit organizations, board members are the first that come to mind as they are the people running those organizations. Tayyab Yunus stressed that boards are not about individual but collective authority that is focused on forwarding the mission and interests of an organization and community it serves. A collective authority comes through strategic planning and steering an NPO in the right direction. Absence of collective authority and strategic planning/direction can lead to a dysfunctional board. He also listed the key components of board governance such as determining a mission, having organizational functioning and providing oversight for finances and execution of your goals. The presence or absence of these components define the performance of an NPO.
According to Yunus, for a high performing and cohesive board, honesty of intentions, clarity of goals, diversity and commitment of members, and setting up of high standards are key values. If these values are not observed, failure is inevitable. In other words, there will be an abuse of power and authority, and NPO will fall short of achieving any of its goals or reaching its full potential.
While addressing reasons of NPOs failing to achieve goals, Yunus explained that the relentless effort to build consensus among board members is often the major reason of failure. Instead a buy-in strategy can be adopted that entails revisiting the problem at hand and realigning the goal thereby building a collective understanding. This strategy helps remind the members of what is more important and making it achievable.