Brush Up on Board Governance! New Secretary of State Course is Online

The Colorado Secretary of State has launched a five-part eLearning series focusing on board education and effectiveness, and has just recently released the second course on board governance. We are proud to have assisted with legal review of this important series, and want to bring it to the attention of our readers.

The most recent release covers a variety of basic governance principles that board members can use to improve their organizations’ efficacy and efficiency. It discusses several topics, including legal compliance to organizational control, and provides a broad overview of the key concepts associated with running a successful nonprofit board. Links to additional resources allow course participants to access more in-depth information based on their organizations’ specific needs.

The initial release, on fiduciary duties, covers the duties of care, loyalty and obedience, as well as related concepts like handling conflicts of interest and compensation; director and officer liability; and risk mitigation. It also includes links to additional resources.

More than 2,250 visitors have taken the first module on fiduciary duties, which was released in November. Both released modules can be accessed at,  and the Secretary of State’s office expects that the complete five-part series will be ready and available by mid-2014. The next module to be released will provide excellent guidance and clarification on a key issue for directors—review of the organizations’ Form 990. All courses are free and open to the public.

The training series resulted from a series of meetings in 2012 between the Secretary of State’s office and Colorado nonprofit community leaders. Since then, the office has collaborated with different nonprofits including the Colorado Nonprofit Association, Community Resource Center, Metro Volunteers, the Colorado Ballet, Boys and Girls Club of Metro Denver, the Sand Creek Regional Greenway, and Kids in Need of Dentistry (KIND).

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