Reimagining Governance is a collaborative initiative between ONN and Ignite NPS. Our goal is to provoke a shift in how we talk about and do governance in nonprofit organizations so they’re better positioned for our futures.

Explore your governance innovation

Spark new ways to do your governance.

Find your own pathway to governance innovation, whether it’s a small pivot or a larger transformation. Whatever your organization’s unique needs, you can explore a wide assortment of resources, tools and practices.

What we think innovation is:



What innovation actually is:



Not sure where to start?

Take a few minutes to get oriented on how to navigate these resources.

Before you get going, it may be helpful to spend time looking at the fundamentals of governance and take a pulse check on your organization’s readiness for innovation.

Governance foundations tool

Readiness pulse-check

Key Resources:

A nonprofit organization’s governance ecosystem

Learn about your complex and dynamic governance ecosystem. This can help in orientations and building or renewing your governance design.

Board Essentials

Learn about the board of director’s requirements and responsibilities based on the law and regulation.

Differentiating governance responsibilities and decisions

Learn about three lenses that help unpack governance responsibilities and decisions, enabling clarity about required competencies, broader participation in governance, and more effective governance processes.

Governance culture in a nonprofit organization

Discover the key elements of culture driving your governance, including how decisions are made, the partnership between the board and staff leadership, and the way that governance work is accomplished.

Governance as shared leadership video

Governance as Shared Leadership: What is it? Why is it important, and how you can maximize its benefits and mitigate its challenges. We hope that this video will prompt conversations in your organization about sharing governance more broadly, beyond just getting more stakeholder input, – and to build your confidence that this kind of approach can be done effectively.

Impacts on governance design for nonprofit organizations

Explore the broad trends and forces shaping the nonprofit sector and how they are impacting the design of your governance in six distinct ways.

Governance functions and responsibilities in nonprofit organizations

Access a chart describing the eight critical governance functions that must be fulfilled, and their corresponding responsibilities, which is useful for orientations and as a starting place for innovation.

Continuum of participation in a nonprofit’s governance

Explore how your stakeholders can participate in your governance from less direct involvement to deeper, more complex levels of engagement.

Shared decision-making for nonprofit governance

Learn about the benefits and challenges of sharing governance more broadly and the critical factors which drive success.

Focus on the fundamentals:

Readiness for governance innovation: A pulse-check

This pulse-check gives your organization a sense of its readiness to embark on reimagining governance, reducing the chances of resistance or inertia down the road.

Meeting the board essentials

Build confidence that your board is fulfilling its legal and regulatory requirements, so it’s better positioned to share responsibilities and uncover innovation.

What’s fixed or fluid? Map the circumstances shaping your organization’s governance

Learn about the unique circumstances that dictate and influence your governance design, enabling a clear and shared understanding by all those participating in it and opening opportunities for innovation.

Create a shared understanding about governance responsibilities

Create a clear and shared understanding about the governance functions that must be fulfilled, along with their corresponding responsibilities. This is a starting place for refreshing roles and responsibilities, engaging stakeholders, and creating better processes.

Build the foundations of good governance

Gain a clear and shared understanding about the five components of your governance framework, which are the foundations of your governance design (processes, structures, people, and culture).

Finding your Innovation:

Uncover innovations in how your governance works

Discover opportunities for innovation in your governance processes and practices through curious and creative brainstorming.

Create a more intentional governance culture

Better understand the culture currently shaping your governance, including how decisions are made, the partnership between the board and staff leadership, and the way that governance work is accomplished.

Governance as shared leadership: Who participates in governance and how

Determine the full spectrum of who should and could participate in your governance, and the key conditions for success by exploring a practice that matches different stakeholders with specific governance responsibilities

Improve governance by unpacking responsibilities and decisions

Unpack different kinds of governance responsibilities and decisions so you can better understand the required leadership characteristics, share governance more broadly, and strengthen processes.

Contact Us