The Asian American Federation of Florida (AAFF) is a 501(c)(3) coalition that aims to unity and collaboration among the various Asian Pacific American organizations and to improve the relationship of a culturally diverse Asian Pacific American community in Florida. The AAFF is a statewide organization made up of more than 70 Bangladesh, Burmese, Cambodian, Chinese, Filipino, Indian, Iranian, Korean, Laotian, Taiwanese, Thai, Turkish and Vietnamese community-based organizations, businesses and media.

Board Basics

For a refresher on board fundamentals, we turned to BoardSource, formerly the National Center for Nonprofit Boards. BoardSource is a nonprofit organization dedicated to providing other nonprofits with practical information, tools, training, and leadership development for board members of nonprofit organizations worldwide.

Why do nonprofits have boards?

Nonprofit boards have a vested responsibility for the stewardship of the organization. Their role is to guard the mission of the organization and to maintain high standards of accountability.

The following broad categories define the board's overall responsibilities:

What are 3 Ds, 3 Gs, and 3 Ws?

It's not a riddle — it's an easy way to keep the essential responsibilities of your board in mind.
3 Ds refers to the legal obligations of board members. They are the duty of care, duty of obedience, and duty of loyalty. These duties indicate that a good board member makes prudent decisions, respects laws and the organization's legal documents, and does not put personal interests above the interests of the organization.

3 Gs means "give, get, or get out." Many boards expect their members to bring in money, either by making a personal contribution or participating in fundraising, or both. If this does not happen, a board member may be asked to leave to give the seat to someone else.

3 Ws (or 3Ts) take a more rounded approach to board service expectations. The Ws refer to wealth, work, and wisdom, and the Ts refer to treasure, time, and talent. Besides participating in securing finances (treasure and wealth), board members are expected to participate in activities (time and work). The final important contribution is the board member's knowledge and expertise (talent and wisdom.)


Reprinted with permission from "Board Q & A's" on the Web site of BoardSource, formerly the National Center for Nonprofit Boards. For more information about BoardSource, call 800-883-6262 or visit www.boardsource.org. BoardSource (c) 2003. Text may not be reproduced without written permission from BoardSource.


Is Your Board Bogged Down?


Is your board guilty of micromanagement? Do board members waste time on trivial details while neglecting the areas you need them most? If so, they may not realize they're doing your organization a disservice. Committed board members might mistakenly judge themselves on the number of hours they spend serving your organization — rather than the number of major hurdles they cross. Unfortunately, working hard doesn't ensure the same results as working smart. Now is the time to ensure that your board is on the right track and making the maximum positive impact on your organization!


How can you save your board from minutiae mania? Try these two tactics:

1. Reduce the number of small decisions that fill your board members' days. Because small decisions are usually easier to make and offer quicker results, it's tempting for board members hoping to make a mark to concentrate on them. Here are some of the ways you can help them re-focus:

2. Work with your board to develop a long-term strategy that will motivate them to look ahead. This step is more challenging and could require training, outside consulting, or even personnel change. But to help them begin you'll want to give them a clear place to focus their energies.

Challenge your board to use the free time they've gained to: