In this course we discuss the two main types of styles adopted by Boards in the Not for Profit (Charities, NFPs and Associations) sector, contrasting an Operational style with a Governance one and determining why one style is better than the other for the performance of the organization and finance professionals employed in the organization.

We start with why individuals join the Board of a NFP giving examples of what’s in it for them.

We then look at a brief overview of the differences between each style; noting why they occur; what impact it has for the organization and how it affects the performance of the finance professional.

From this we discuss what governance looks like, exploring an academic and practical Board governance model.

Finally we look at the tools available to you as a finance professional in the NFP sector that can help you influence the style adopted by the Board.

This course helps you identify why an individual is prepared to accept an unpaid legal responsibility; the style adopted by your Board; how the adopted style affects your own performance and provide you with the tools to influence the Board’s style that will enhance the performance of the organization as well your performance as a finance professional. 

Learning Objectives
  • Explore the reasons why individuals accept an unpaid director/trustee role.
  • Identify the style and culture adopted by your Board: Operational or Governance.
  • Discover the impact each style has on organizational and individual performance.
  • Explore the tools available to the finance professional to influence the adopted style
Last updated/reviewed: August 18, 2023
2 Reviews (13 ratings)


Anonymous Author
Good quick course on board governance and signs of governing vs managing.

Anonymous Author
The instructor provided good information about how a Board should work.

Course Complexity: Intermediate

No Advanced Preparation or Prerequisites are needed for this course 

Education Provider Information
Company: Illumeo, Inc., 75 East Santa Clara St., Suite 1215, San Jose, CA 95113
Contact: For more information regarding this course, including complaint and cancellation policies, please contact our offices at (408) 400- 3993 or send an e-mail to .
Instructor for this course
Course Syllabus
  Introduction on How to Move A NFP From A "Hands On" Board to A Governance Board3:03
NFP from a “hands on Board” to a Governance Board
  Composition of NFP Boards & why people join5:31
  What is Operational?4:33
  What this means for the finance professional4:40
  The role of the Governance Board & the factors influencing the organization7:56
  How can you influence the Board culture7:09
  NFP Board Styles: Operational vs Governance full video32:52
  Slides: NFP Board Styles: Operational vs GovernancePDF
  NFP Board Styles: Operational vs Governance Glossary/IndexPDF
  Review Questionsquiz
 Final Examexam