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Board Members Rule: How to Be a Strategic Advocate for Your Nonprofit
by Robert Zimmerman and Ann Lehman








To order from Unlimited Publishing, or Amazon, 128 pages, 7x9 (spiral), February 2007, ISBN: 0-7879-6812-9 (Available now in Paperback $26.65 & Digital $9.99)


"…The philosophy of the book is stated in its Introduction. We hear complaints about boards: they are ineffective, won't fundraise, can't read a financial statement & the list goes on and on. But we don't hear enough about how boards educate their members about their responsibilities. We readily ask board members to make decisions without the necessary instructions. Board Members Rule helps to rectify this situation. The chapters are succinct and varied..." The Foundation Center, for full review.

Table of Contents


It's filled with practical and common-sense tools, resources, grids, forms, and examples. There is a learning exercise to fit every chapter, and lists of references, resources and support centers throughout the nation.

Zimmerman and Lehman, authors of Boards That Love Fundraising, have written a new and accessible hands-on book, Board Members Rule, based on their experience in working with boards and nonprofits for many years. Board Members Rule reframes a board member's role to be a strategic advocate for your nonprofit and its constituency. Given the heightened awareness of accountability and transparency, Board Members Rule shows how to pay attention to both while furthering your values, mission and vision and promoting pragmatic, effective and efficient strategies. Geared for new and seasoned board members, it answers questions such as:

  • How to run efficient and effective meetings?
  • What is a mission and vision statement?
  • How to strategically plan for the future?
  • How to recruitment new members?
  • What to pay and how to do a performance appraisal of the CEO?
  • What are your fundraising responsibilities?
  • How to be financially accountable and transparent?
  • What are your fiduciary duties?
  • What is a conflict of interest?
  • How does the board evaluate itself?


Read excerpts:
"Accountability and Transparency for Nonprofits: What Do They Mean?"

"How Can A Board Member Be A Strategic Advocate For Your Nonprofit?"

"How Does the Board Govern and Evaluate Itself?"

    Ann Lehman and Robert Zimmerman (former) were partners at Zimmerman Lehman, a consulting firm for nonprofits. They have over 60 years of combined experience working with nonprofits in board development, fundraising and public policy. Ann has been an executive director and Bob a development director on both coasts. Both Ann and Bob are well-known for motivating boards with their practical, down-to-earth, no-nonsense advice and sense of humor.

What People Are Saying:

"We hear complaints about boards: they are ineffective, won't fundraise, can't read a financial statement and the list goes on and on. But we don't hear enough about how boards educate their members about their responsibilities. Board Members Rule helps to rectify this situation."-Scott Ullman, The San Francisco Foundation Center

"Written by two leading experts in the field of board development and fundraising, Board Members Rule reframes the board members' role to include a strategic advocacy perspective... It's filled with common sense tools, resources, forms, examples and exercises to provide a comprehensive guide for board members of nonprofit organizations."
- Golden Gate Association of Fundraising Professionals, AFP-GGC e-Bulletin April 2007

"Board Members Rule is an essential read for those who want to transform their board membership into an opportunity to exercise strategic leadership in promoting the mission of the agency."
- Emily Murase, San Francisco Department on the Status of Women

"Lehman and Zimmerman draw on their extensive background in community organizing and public policy to demonstrate the power of strategic advocacy in affecting change and implementing a nonprofit's mission."
- Norman A. Constantine, University of California, Berkeley, School of Public Health

"Zimmerman Lehman have once more produced a hands-on practical board manual, Board Members Rule, that will benefit both the experienced and inexperienced board member."
- Phillip Kilbridge, Habitat for Humanity San Francisco

"Board Members Rule is chock-full of excellent advice and practical techniques for the proactive board member. Tons of resources, references, tables, forms and exercises will ensure that all boards govern effectively."

- Tim Hallahan, Stanford Law School

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2014 Zimmerman Lehman.

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Copyright © 2005, Zimmerman Lehman