Michigan Nonprofit Association

Lansing Office

330 Marshall St,
Suite 200
Lansing, MI 48912

Payment Remittance

P.O. Box 771958
Detroit, MI 48277-1958

Session 5 : Strategic, Supportive and Equity Centered: Board Best Practices We Need Today

This session involved a discussion about how board members can lead from the front in dealing with the long-term effects of COVID-19. Nonprofit executives also discussed how governance can promote equity and racial justice.

Session Overview

Know What Your Board Members Can Do for the Organization

  • Board members should lead from the front in addressing large social issues like inequality, racial injustice and poverty.
  • Ask board members what ‘WE’ are doing about those issues.
  • Challenge board members and ask them tough questions. Do not be afraid of the answers.
  • Your organization’s success and mission should be defined. After that, board members can make decisions to help the organization succeed.
  • Be careful of giving a board too much power, which can blockade actions the nonprofit can take.
  • Boards must think critically about inclusion and recruitment — both how their organization conducts these activities and the potential outcomes.

Board and Membership Requirements During a Pandemic

  • The Michigan Nonprofit Corporation Act allows for conference phone calls and remote communication and video calls if all members are able to communicate with each other.
  • Emails and proxies do not allow for meaningful discussion even when making quick and intelligent decisions.
  • Consent without meeting is only allowed if the decisions are unanimous.
  • Michigan’s Open Meetings Act(OMA) requires certain meetings of certain public bodies to be open to the public; to require notice and the keeping of minutes of meetings. A meeting of public body cannot be held unless public notice is given consistent with OMA.
  • Update governing documents so they comply with Michigan laws in regard to process changes, quorum, election of officers and director terms.

A Triage Tool for Nonprofits and their Boards

BoardEffect (management software, but also white papers on key issues)

BoardSource (documents, forms)

Independent Sector

Internal Revenue Service

Nonprofit Enterprise at Work

Michigan Nonprofit Corporation Act


  • Board members impact the entire organization and surrounding community.
  • Board members must think about the bigger picture when making decisions.

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Crain's Detroit: Michigan nonprofits: Bring back charitable tax credit in budget talks

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