Lessons for successful nonprofit governance


  • Peter F. Drucker

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    • Peter F. Drucker is professor of social sciences and management at the Claremont Graduate School in Claremont, California. He recently published the “Non-Profit Drucker,” a set of twenty-five one-hour audio cassettes on management and leadership in the nonprofit institution.


Boards of nonprofit organizations malfunction as often as they function effectively. As the best-managed nonprofit organizations demonstrate, both the board and the executive are essential to the proper functioning of a nonprofit organization. These administrative organs must work as equal members of a team rather than one subordinate to the other. Moreover, the work of the executive and the board does not divide neatly into policy-making versus execution of policy. Boards and executives must be involved in both functions and must coordinate their work accordingly. In a well-functioning nonprofit organization, the executive will take responsibility for assuring that the governance function is properly organized and maintained.