Chairs of nonprofit boards in the U.S. are poorly equipped to lead their organizations and have little contact with their communities, constituents, funders and the media, a new study says.

Among 635 board chairs responding to a study by the Alliance for Nonprofit Management, only half prepared themselves for their leadership role and, of those who did prepare, their main source of training was to observe their previous chairs, regardless of whether they were effective leaders, says the study, Voices of Nonprofit Board Chairs.

A tiny number of chairs received formal training, used online resources, read nonprofit books or magazines, or used libraries to help learn how to be effective leaders, says the study.

And many board chairs served on their boards, in any capacity, for only three years or less before assuming their leadership role, which they often took on because others were not willing to, the study says.

It also found that, despite an increasing focus on nonprofit accountability to communities and constituents they serve, board chairs are disengaged from them.

Board chairs “seem to spend most of their time isolated in the boardroom, rather than engage with their constituents and stakeholders to whom they are accountable,” Judy Freiwirth, chair of the Alliance’s Governance Member Affinity Group says in a statement.

The Affinity Group, a network of nonprofit consultants, researchers and capacity-building organizations, conducted the study.

The study recommends that the nonprofit sector develop an “intentional practice” of board chair preparation and succession planning; provide more accessible resources for board chairs, as well as training, coaching and mentoring; develop “shared leadership models” rather than relying on one individual to fulfill all board leadership roles; build “leadership capacity” for many potential and emerging board members; and “support and expect” board chairs to be actively engaged with their community and constituency, and in leading advocacy efforts.

Pay gap persists but share of female CEOs grows, report says

Women continue to trail men in median compensation for comparable jobs at similar nonprofits but, over the 10 years ended in fiscal 2014, women increased their share of CEO positions except at nonprofits with budgets under $1 million, a new report says.

Compensation increases for incumbents in 2014 still lagged behind their rate before the recession, and health and science organizations posted the highest overall median salaries, while arts, religion and animal-related organizations posted the lowest, says the 2016 GuideStar Nonprofit Compensation Report.

The gap between men and women in median compensation for CEOs ranged from eight percent at organizations with budgets of $250,000 or less to 23 percent at organizations with budgets over $25 million, says the report, which was based on data on over 135,000 individual positions at over 96,000 tax-exempt organizations.

In the 10 years ended in fiscal 2014, the share of female CEOs at the largest nonprofits doubled to 20 percent, although women still hold less than a third of CEO positions at organizations with budgets over $10 million and, overall, their share of CEO positions fell steadily as organization size grew.

Women continue to represent most CEOs at smaller organizations.

In 2008, median increases in compensation for incumbent CEOs generally were four percent or higher, while in 2014 increases were below that level for the sixth straight year.

For the 11th straight year, Washington, D.C., had the highest overall median salary for CEOs among the top 20 metro areas, while Portland, Ore., had the lowest, although the median salary of CEOs in Atlanta had the lowest purchasing power when adjusted for cost of living.

Voters favor more investment in early education, poll finds

Big majorities of voters in North Carolina want more investment in early learning, including providing greater access to affordable child care, Smart Start, publicly-funded pre-kindergarten programs, and programs that build parenting skills, a new bipartisan poll says.

Favoring expanded access to the state’s Smart Start and pre-kindergarten programs are 70 percent of Republicans, up from 50 percent in 2014, and 87 percent of independents, up from 73 percent, as well as 92 percent of Democrats, unchanged from two years ago, the poll says.

Based on interviews of 500 individuals conducted in July by cell phone and landline, the poll was commissioned by the First Five Years Fund and the North Carolina Early Childhood Foundation, and conducted by the polling team of Public Opinion Strategies, a Republican firm, and Hart Research, a Democratic firm.

Two-thirds of North Carolina voters say most early education programs are not both high-quality and affordable, and majorities of Democratic, Republican and independent voters say the state should make early education more affordable to working families.

Fifty-eight percent of voters say they would have a “much more favorable” impression of a candidate for elected office who supported investing in early childhood education, and only five percent say they would have a less favorable impression of that candidate.

A recent national poll released by the First Five Years Fund showed similar trends among voters throughout the U.S.

Nonprofit collaboration focus of symposium

Collaboration and trust in the nonprofit world will be the focus of a free symposium on September 22 in Charlotte hosted by the Better Business Bureau

Speakers will be Art Taylor, president and CEO of the BBB Wise Giving Alliance in Arlington, Va., and Alli Celebron-Brown, vice president and director of community programs at Foundation For The Carolinas in Charlotte.

The event will be held in the Sam Lerner Center in Shalom Park at 5007 Providence Road from 9 a.m. to 11 a.m., with registration starting at 8 a.m. and breakfast at 8:15 a.m.

Graham joins School of Government at UNC

Anita Brown-Graham, former director of the Institute for Emerging Issues at North Carolina State University in Raleigh, has joined the School of Government at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill as program director — heading a special initiative to work with public officials on policy issues that affect local communities — and as professor of public law and government.

Wellman retiring from E4E Relief

Laura Meyer Wellman, a former executive vice president of Foundation for the Carolinas in Charlotte, will retire, effective November 1, as president and CEO of E4E Relief, an employee disaster-relief program and wholly-owned subsidiary of the Foundation.

Ore named advocate of year by AIDS Action Network

Addison Ore, a founding board member and former co-chair of the North Carolina AIDS Action Network, and former executive director of the Triad Health Project in Greensboro, has received the Advocate of the Year award from North Carolina AIDS Action Network.

Winston-Salem Foundation awards $907,000 in scholarships

The Winston-Salem Foundation awarded 544 higher-education scholarships totaling $907,388 for the 2016-17 academic year to local students.

The Foundation awarded the scholarships from 118 scholarship endowment funds established by individuals, families, and businesses since 1923.

Charlotte church raises $200,000 for school in Haiti

Forest Hills Church in Charlotte raised nearly $200,000 to build an elementary school for Mission of Hope, Haiti, in memory of Dobbs and Reed Eddings, who were killed in a car crash in Charlotte last year and were the sons of Gentry Eddings, a pastor at the church, and his wife, Hadley.

The church agreed to contribute additional funds to pay for construction of the school.

Me Fine Foundation getting $20,000

The Me Fine Foundation in Princeton, N.C., has received a total commitment of $20,000 over five years from two franchises of Smithfield’s Chicken ‘N Bar­B­ Q.

The Foundation provides financial assistance and support programs to parents and caregivers with children receiving long-term medical treatment from children’s hospitals at Duke University and the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.

Guilford County Schools track students’ volunteer time

Guilford County Schools have contracted with x2VOL to track the time students volunteer each year — estimated at thousands of hours — through service-learning projects.

In the past five years, those hours have totaled 1.4 million hours, according to a data from a tracking system the new system replaces.

Underwriters Association gives $1,000

Triad Association of Health Underwriters gave $1,000 to the NC Military Order of the Purple Heart, Wounded Warrior Leave Fund.

The Association raised the money at its annual golf tournament on May at the Greensboro National Golf Club in Summerfield.

Poe Center to host 25th anniversary event

The Alice Aycock Poe Center for Health Education will host an event to celebrate its 25th anniversary on September 24 at the Center at 224 Sunnybrook Rd. in Raleigh starting at 7 p.m.

Arts Council to hold annual meeting

The Arts Council of Winston-Salem and Forsyth County will hold its annual meeting September 26 at 5:30 p.m. at the Milton Rhodes Center for the Arts in downtown Winston-Salem.

Grants focus on agricultural and science education, hunger relief

Nonprofits in the Greensboro and Research Triangle Park areas with projects that promote agricultural and science education or help relieve hunger are eligible for grants of up to $10,000 through the Syngenta Community Grant Program.

September 30 is the deadline for submitting grant applications.

Pope Foundation accepting grant applications

October 17 is the deadline for submitting applications to The John William Pope Foundation in Raleigh for the 2017 Joy W. Pope Memorial Grant in the Arts and the 2017 Joy W. Pope Memorial Grant in Human Services.

Each grant will total $100,000 for an innovative project to be completed in 2017

Volunteers to paint and repair homes

Community Housing Solutions in Greensboro will begin its sixth annual Paint the Town neighborhood blitz on September 17, with volunteer groups repairing and painting a total of 13 homes in the Glenwood neighborhood over nine days, including painting nine of the homes in a single day.

United Way, schools get support from High Point University

United Way of Greater High Point received a $1,000 donation from the Student Government Association at High Point University and nearly 1,400 canned food items and other nonperishables collected by student clubs on campus.

And local schools are getting over 1,000 books donated by the class of 2020 at the University.

Goodwill to hold annual banquet

Goodwill Industries of Northwest North Carolina will host its annual awards banquet on September 29 at the Greensboro-High Point Marriott Airport at One Marriott Drive in Greensboro starting at 5:30 p.m.

Wharton heads Heart Association young professional group

Jake Wharton, partner at Womble Carlyle Sandridge and Rice, has been named chair of  AHA PULSE Winston‐Salem, a new young professional social group, sponsored by Belk, that supports the American Heart Association in Forsyth County and is the first PULSE group in North Carolina.

Greensboro Swarm to focus philanthropy on education, wellness

The Greensboro Swarm basketball team will focus its philanthropy and social projects during the 2016-17 season on education and wellness in the Triad.

Currituck Dare funder awards $20,000

Currituck-Dare Community Foundation and Women’s Fund awarded $20,000 in local grant awards. The Foundation is an affiliate of the North Carolina Community Foundation.

Forsyth United Way raises $14,000

United Way of Forsyth County raised $14,000 at its 5th Annual Moonlight Madness Run on August 26 to kick off its annual fundraising campaign.

Chairing the campaign is John Fox, chairman of the Mid Atlantic Region for First Tennessee Bank.