Governing for Results


Table of Contents ~ About Mel Gill

A Director's Guide to Good Governance by Mel Gill

This Best Selling book provides a comprehensive guide to effective governance for board members and their senior executives. The author offers a new framework for understanding boards and proposes practices that boards can use to fulfill their stewardship responsibilities, strengthen board performance and improve organizational effectiveness. The book discusses the basics of governance - what it is and why it matters; essential duties and liabilities of the board and its members; and the essentials of an effective board/management partnership.

It provides detailed guidance on the seven primary areas of board responsibility: i) mission and planning; ii) financial stewardship; iii) human resources stewardship; iv) performance monitoring and accountability; v) community representation and advocacy; vi) risk management; and, vii) managing 'critical events' and 'transitional phases'. It discusses the legal structure of nonprofits, who owns them and how to organize for accountable governance.

Governing for Results will assist boards in dealing with recurring issues around board and committee structures; their terms of reference and effective use; and job descriptions for key officers. The discussion of board development, board management, decision-making and organizational culture will prove invaluable in helping many boards deal with these complex issues. A discussion of the essential principles of governing for results includes a logical framework for planning and evaluation.

The book provides tools that can help boards decide which governance practices will best fit their particular organization and strengthen their performance as a governing body. It outlines the factors that may interfere with a board's ability to adopt appropriate governance practices and presents twelve keys to successful governance that were identified through research. It offers a sample letter of agreement for new board members, and samples of an agenda for board meetings, an oath of confidentiality, a values statement, conflict of interest and donor confidentiality policies, a template for financial monitoring, self-assessment tools for the board and individual directors and a basic guide to 'Rules of Order' for conduct of meetings. It also provides outlines for comprehensive by laws and governance policies, and references to additional resources.

Praise for Governing For Results

"… one of the most comprehensive texts on modern governance and its application to our sectors; easy to access, supplemented by quick tips and real cases that enable readers to assess their own practices and improve upon them. This is an important contribution and one that every board member and CEO would benefit from reading."  Al Hatton, President and CEO United Way of Canada

“Mel Gill provides a thoughtful and well-researched look at various board governance structures in use in Canada and offers practical insights of use both to organizations considering what approach to governance will work for them and to directors wanting to understand what role they should play..." Peter Broder, Canadian Centre for Philanthropy

“It offers a very useful blend of conceptual guidance and practical tools. There is a lot of 'firepower' in this book - it's an exceptional compendium of information." David Renz, Director, Midwest Center for Nonprofit Leadership, University of Missouri


Governing For Results: A Director's Guide to Good Governance

ISBN 978-1-4120-4938-2

Trafford Publishing Feb 2005

181 pages soft cover / 8 x 11 in / 475 gr