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What you Can Expect of the Program

The program enhances governance through changing behaviors, strengthening ways of doing business for the long term, as well as enhancing the culture of the board.

The core components of the program include:

  • A team approach involving a five member Leadership Team, including the executive director/CEO, at least one board officer and three current or emerging board leaders.
  • A Coach with extensive community development experience to work with the same Leadership Team throughout the process.
  • The full board is engaged through a board retreat, Coach site visits and Leadership Team reports and activity.
  • A performance challenge framework that creates a customized experience for each team which focuses on real issues in real time (i.e., merger, succession plan, expansion of service area).  The goal is to focus on important existing work rather than to create new work.
  • 18 months because change takes time.
  • Three weekend in-person trainings with skilled trainers, experts and peers.
  • Longitudinal analysis through interviewing graduates 18-24 months after completing the program to capture changes in board behavior, habits or culture which have ‘stuck’.
  • A $10,000 completion grant to further board strengthening.
excellence in governance


One Coach will be assigned to each Leadership Team. All Coaches must meet qualifications for skills and experience and must participate in a multi-day Coach training, the regularly scheduled coaching of Coaches sessions, the three in-person trainings and the four site visits including the full board retreat and closing presentation.



Confidentiality between Coach and Leadership Team is expected, but will exclude illegal activity. NeighborWorks America will use a confidentiality agreement that includes terms that require the board chair to notify appropriate NeighborWorks America staff should such illegal activity come to light.
"At the six-month mark, 95% of respondents said that the Excellence in Governance program was meeting or exceeding their expectations."
Source: Enquire Research survey, February 2014