Community Futures
Leadership Institute
Board Development

Module contents

This page gives a detailed overview of each module. Click on the module heading to open the info window for each module. Clicking on the heading again will close the info window. You can open all info windows by clicking on "Expand All". To close all info windows click on "Collapse All".

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  • Module 1: Community Economic Development and the Role of Planning

    The goal of this module is to provide a thorough understanding of Community Economic Development (CED), its objectives, and the main issues affecting it.

    Participants will:

    • Understand the key differences between CED and other approaches to economic and community development
    • Review the role of strategic planning as part of a strategic management cycle
    • Examine the role of the Board in the planning process for Community Futures and the community itself
  • Module 2: Operations - Board and Staff

    Community Futures Board members fulfill five major leadership functions: decision maker, advisor, trustee, perpetuator and leader. This module examines these functions and the critical principles underlying them.

    Participants will:

    • Examine principles such as accountability and transparency
    • Describe the relationship between the Board, management and staff
    • Understand the organizational structures and composition of a Board
    • Discuss the concept of Board sustainability
  • Module 3: Legal Responsibilities of Boards

    The purpose of this module is to familiarize Directors with the legal environment that exists for Community Futures and the legal framework within which they provide leadership.

    Participants will:

    • Learn how to understand and apply the legal guidelines governing Community Futures Directors
    • Identify the circumstances that create liability for Directors
    • Review how Boards can protect themselves against liability
  • Module 4: Financial Management of a Community Futures

    This module demonstrates the relationship between financial management and the long-range goals that Boards must establish. Boards must be able to set financial policies and evaluate their organization’s financial performance.

    Participants will:

    • Examine how to establish accountability for achieving the objectives set out in the Board’s plans
    • Identify the financial reports that are used to measure the financial performance of the organization
    • Review financial objectives and audits, and the role of the audit in maintaining accountability
  • Module 5: Board Development and Evaluation

    This module examines the role and accountability of the Board of Directors. Board members must demonstrate leadership through commitment, integrity and teamwork.

    Participants will:

    • Discuss the importance of advanced Board succession planning and formal recruitment strategies
    • Examine on-going development for all Board members
    • Understand the importance of a formal Board evaluation process
  • Module 6: Community Futures Lending

    The objective of this module is to reiterate the role of Boards in loan administration and the overall management of the loan fund. Board members must have a solid understanding of many aspects of lending and loan administration. 3.5hr session

    Participants will:

    • Review the roles, responsibilities and functions of a loans committee
    • Discover how the loans committee is accountable to the Board for its actions
    • Discuss the economic and social climate in which Community Futures lending takes place
  • Module 7: Management Recruitment, Performance, and Evaluation

    This module focuses on the recruitment, compensation, and evaluation of the General Manager of Community Futures organizations.

    Participants will:

    • Review management selection procedures
    • Examine compensation packages and levels
    • Discuss performance planning and evaluation
    • Learn how to deal with performance concerns
  • Module 8: Board Leadership

    This module allows participants to evaluate their skills as leaders in the capacity of a Community Futures Board member, and enhance their abilities as a strong leader.

    Participants will:

    • Examine styles of leadership
    • Discuss self evaluation and strategies for effective leadership
    • Review the Director’s role in exercising leadership
    • Identify steps the Boards can take to exercise leadership within the not-for-profit sector and within the community
  • Module 9: Cultural Awareness

    Board members must provide leadership in bringing cultural awareness to their organizations. This module deals with the cultural diversity of our country and communities and examines the growing importance of cultural sensitivity.

    Participants will:

    • Understand the impacts of demographic shifts
    • Identify opportunities for community economic development as a result of shifting demographics
    • Review self-evaluation and identifying actions needed to become a culturally-aware organization and community
    • Discuss the actions necessary to become culturally aware
    • Define methods of connecting with an entire community
  • Module 10: Social Economy

    As a Board Member, it is important to understand the concept of social economy and the needs within your community, in order to make the linkage between your Community Futures and the community.

    • Understanding the social economy
    • Identifying the leadership qualities and strategies your Community Futures can implement
  • Module 11: Organizational Assessment

    This module aims to help participants recognize the achievements of their Board and to identify where further improvements can be made.

    Participants will:

    • Recognize the achievements of their Board to date
    • Identify areas of improvement
    • Clarify how the achievement of goals is linked to the process by which they were first achieved
  • Module 12: So You Want To Be a CF Chair - Chairing With Confidence

    This module examines the Chair's roles and responsibilities as they relate to the public, stakeholders, partners, funders, the corporation, Board Members, and Community Futures staff. (3.5hr session)

    Participants will:

    • Learn how to approach the role of Chair with skill and confidence
    • Understand the roles and responsibilities associated with the Chair's position
    • Discuss the specific skills required to be a Chair
    • Examine how to support their Chair and work together as a strong team
  • Module 13: Strategic Loan Fund Manual

    As a Board member, it is important that you:

    • Understand the Community Futures’ lending vision
    • Understand your role in the lending process
    • Know your Community Futures organization’s strategic goals for the loan fund
    • Recognize the key considerations in loan portfolio management. Understand how to monitor the health of the loan portfolio