The Art of Trusteeship: The Nonprofit Board Members Guide to Effective Governance / Edition 1

Hardcover (Print)
Used and New from Other Sellers
Used and New from Other Sellers
from $1.99
Usually ships in 1-2 business days
(Save 95%)
Other sellers (Hardcover)
  • All (28) from $1.99   
  • New (7) from $8.96   
  • Used (21) from $1.99   


Nonprofit organizations are astonishingly diverse. They include colleges and universities, churches, professional associations, symphonies, museums, healthcare organizations and social welfare agencies. No matter what their mission, all nonprofit organizations are governed in the same way. They are entrusted to the care and direction of a board of directors.The Art of Trusteeship is a practical and down-to-earth guide that helps nonprofit board members fulfill their critical responsibilities with both wisdom and grace. Authors Candace Widmer and Susan Houchin—experts in the field of board governance-have developed an approach to board leadership that is both user—friAndly and flexible. It can be used by trustees from any type of nonprofit organization, whatever its mission, membership, or size. This book provides the information board members need to do everything from craft a mission statement to assess the organization's and the board's success. Step-by-step, the authors show how to provide oversight of nonprofit organizations and, at the same time, focus on strategic issues. The Art of Trusteeship explores all aspects of the board's role in mission, money, and management and spells out the ten fundamental board responsibilities. Board members will learn how to:? Establish and monitor the organization's mission? Plan strategically to achieve the mission? Oversee the programs intAnded to accomplish the mission? Communicate the mission and programs to the outside world? Oversee the organization's finances? Develop funds? Ensure sound risk management? Hire, supervise, support and, when necessary, remove the CEO? Select and educate trustees? Manage and evaluate the board's workThe Art of Trusteeship provides board members with pragmatic advice for governing their organization. Learn the skills you need to lead your nonprofit organization"This book delivers what trustees direly need but rarely get: plainspoken, practical ad

Read More Show Less

Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
"This book delivers what trustees direly need but rarely get: plainspoken, practical advice, rooted in common sense and real life. It tells trustees what to do, and how to do it well." —Richard P. Chait, professor, Harvard University's Graduate School of Education

"The Art of Trusteeship addresses the many challenges facing trustees today during this time of rapid change, increasing demand for accountability, and competition for funds. Whether you are a trustee or nonprofit CEO, you will find the authors' approach will apply to your organization and its mission." —Mary H. DeKuyper, member of the board of governors, the National American Red Cross

"At last, a book that doesn't take a one-size-fits-all approach! The authors recognize that the huge diversity among nonprofits calls for multiple ways of fulfilling basic board responsibilities. The book allows a board member to dive in at any point and find a concise, clear set of options for handling the challenges of trusteeship. It will help even first-time board members find firm footing on the path to effective governance." —Sara L. Engelhardt, president, The Foundation Center

"Nothing is more important to the success of nonprofit organizations than effective board governance. The Art of Trusteeship makes the compelling case that such success is the result of clear vision, solid understanding and good practice. The book makes great sense and will help its readers better understand what good board performance means and how to get it." —Ken Gladish, national executive director, chief executive officer, YMCA

In spite of the variety of sizes, memberships, and missions of nonprofit organizations, they are all entrusted to the care and direction of a board of directors. This volume provides clear guidance to nonprofit board members who take their work seriously, from basic mission questions to money and management issues. Annotation c. Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (
Read More Show Less

Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780787951337
  • Publisher: Wiley
  • Publication date: 11/3/2000
  • Series: NonProfit and Public Management Series
  • Edition description: New Edition
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 208
  • Product dimensions: 6.00 (w) x 9.00 (h) x 0.63 (d)

Meet the Author

CANDACE WIDMER is professor of human services and sociology at Elmira College and a well-known consultant to nonprofits. SUSAN HOUCHIN is director of national services for Girls Incorporated and its seven year trustee Education for Excellence Project.

Read More Show Less

Table of Contents

About the Authors.


Introduction: The Art of Trusteeship.


Establishing the Organization's Mission.

Engaging in Strategic Planning.

Overseeing Programs.

Helping the Organization Communicate Effectively.


Overseeing the Organization's Finances.

Developing Funds.

Ensuring Sound Risk Management Policies.


Selecting and Supporting the Chief Executive Officer.

Selecting and Educating Trustees.

Managing the Work of the Board.

Conclusion: The Challenge of Trusteeship.


Additional Resources.


Read More Show Less

Customer Reviews

Be the first to write a review
( 0 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star


4 Star


3 Star


2 Star


1 Star


Your Rating:

Your Name: Create a Pen Name or

Barnes & Review Rules

Our reader reviews allow you to share your comments on titles you liked, or didn't, with others. By submitting an online review, you are representing to Barnes & that all information contained in your review is original and accurate in all respects, and that the submission of such content by you and the posting of such content by Barnes & does not and will not violate the rights of any third party. Please follow the rules below to help ensure that your review can be posted.

Reviews by Our Customers Under the Age of 13

We highly value and respect everyone's opinion concerning the titles we offer. However, we cannot allow persons under the age of 13 to have accounts at or to post customer reviews. Please see our Terms of Use for more details.

What to exclude from your review:

Please do not write about reviews, commentary, or information posted on the product page. If you see any errors in the information on the product page, please send us an email.

Reviews should not contain any of the following:

  • - HTML tags, profanity, obscenities, vulgarities, or comments that defame anyone
  • - Time-sensitive information such as tour dates, signings, lectures, etc.
  • - Single-word reviews. Other people will read your review to discover why you liked or didn't like the title. Be descriptive.
  • - Comments focusing on the author or that may ruin the ending for others
  • - Phone numbers, addresses, URLs
  • - Pricing and availability information or alternative ordering information
  • - Advertisements or commercial solicitation


  • - By submitting a review, you grant to Barnes & and its sublicensees the royalty-free, perpetual, irrevocable right and license to use the review in accordance with the Barnes & Terms of Use.
  • - Barnes & reserves the right not to post any review -- particularly those that do not follow the terms and conditions of these Rules. Barnes & also reserves the right to remove any review at any time without notice.
  • - See Terms of Use for other conditions and disclaimers.
Search for Products You'd Like to Recommend

Recommend other products that relate to your review. Just search for them below and share!

Create a Pen Name

Your Pen Name is your unique identity on It will appear on the reviews you write and other website activities. Your Pen Name cannot be edited, changed or deleted once submitted.

Your Pen Name can be any combination of alphanumeric characters (plus - and _), and must be at least two characters long.

Continue Anonymously
Sort by: Showing all of 2 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted June 3, 2001

    A Model for What the Ideal Nonprofit Board Should Do

    If you are like me, you arrived with no idea of what to do the first time you sat on a nonprofit board. If that board was not well organized, you sat down on your second nonprofit board with about the same level of understanding. Nonprofit organizations, especially smaller and newer ones, tend to be 'amateur hour' operations. They usually have neither good governance nor good management. Unfortunately, they need both much more than most for profit and nonprofit organizations that do have them. The nonprofit organizations that focus relentlessly on improving governance and management do far more good than those who do not. So these are important subjects. I doubt if you can have very good management without good governance first. Governance creates the organizational direction and the discipline that encourages good management. Unless someone is reviewing how you are doing, even the most talented manager will soon become lazy about learning from experience. I recommend that anyone who is on a nonprofit board or is considering joining one should read this book. You will have a much more rewarding board experience if you do. You can also share this book with others on the board, and challenge them to work with you to make the needed changes. I certainly plan to do this with the board I sit on now. By the way, chances are that your board will never quite get to this 'gold standard' described here. But at least you will know what you are and are not doing, and can focus on the more important steps. The book breaks the board's responsibility down into mission, responsibility for money, and for management. Top priority is 'establishing the mission and monitoring the organization's progress in achieving that mission.' This may involve modifying the mission from time to time. This is very critical, because you either have a mission that gets volunteers and donors excited or you are dead in the water. Habitat for Humanity and the Girl Scouts have done this well. The board next needs to create a 'vision for the future of the organization and [develop] a plan for achieving that vision.' After that, the board needs to ensure 'progress in serving the mission of the organization . . . [in meeting] the needs of clients' and in the effectiveness of programs. The board also needs to be sure that the mission and programs are communicated 'effectively with its various publics.' The money side all fits under being a 'steward for organizational resources.' The tasks include having a formal development plan, making an annual contribution to the organization, and participating in fund-raising activities. In addition, risks should be identified and ensured and insured against as best as one can. In the area of management, the board has to select, support, evaluate, (and terminate, when necessary) the CEO. The board has to evaluate its own effectiveness at each meeting, as well. If your board isn't willing to start working on this items, I suggest you consider looking for another board that is. Certainly, you may be in for a lot of heartache if you a join a board that is going to ignore these areas. Create more good by having a more effective board! Donald Mitchell, co-author of The Irresistible Growth Enterprise and The 2,000 Percent Solution

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted February 17, 2009

    No text was provided for this review.

Sort by: Showing all of 2 Customer Reviews

If you find inappropriate content, please report it to Barnes & Noble
Why is this product inappropriate?
Comments (optional)