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Boards not accountable for anything?

Updated: Sep 20, 2021

During a public meeting, some colleagues I really respect discussed a board’s lack of accountability. I think the words were "boards are accountable for nearly nothing." The colleagues consulted with an attorney who supported this position. Well, I cannot concur. Think about Wells Fargo. Think about the Wounded Warrior Project. Ultimately, the boards were accused of not fulfilling fiduciary duties under the law. In 2015, a board of a home for the aged was found liable for not fulfilling its fiduciary duties. On appeal, the $2.25 million punitive damage award was vacated. But the board got itself in trouble because it wasn’t paying attention. Because it wasn’t paying attention, a private college foundation board came under scrutiny from the community served. Even very small nonprofit boards can be sued. For more on how a board determines its accountability, listen to a discussion from the Xylem Group.

If you want a scholarly review regarding what a board is accountable for, go here


Sherry S. Jennings, PhD
Founder and principal of Sound Governance. Sherry started Sound Governance because board leaders need a safe space.

Read more about sherry.
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