Eugene H. Fram has dedicated himself to the field of nonprofit governance. His book, Policy vs. Paper Clips is in my opinion, THE essential tome on corporate governance (yes, Mr. Carver). Doctor Fram's lifelong experience and knowledge is shared regularly in the Huffington Post among many venues including his own classroom at the Rochester Institute of Technology.
So you can imagine it is with great enthusiasm I await Doctor Fram's wisdom and so did with his latest book: Going For Impact: The Nonprofit Director's Essential Guidebook (2016). Sadly, I don't believe there was a "there" in Going for Impact. I found this 115 page 19 chapter, easily accessible (thanks to Dr. Fram's storytelling writing style) seriously wanton of wisdom that could easily be found in any number of the publications available on nonprofit governance, or for that matter, what many nonprofit chairs could reflect.
Topics like "Straight Talk about Nonprofit Directors' Responsibilities", "What the Board Should Expect from Management", and "What Management Should Expect from the Board" are predominantly prescriptive or at minimum, descriptive and are not inherently research or evidence-based, unless of course one considers the deep and wide experience of one individual research-esque. At this point in the development of nonprofits, we should all be working to document what indeed must or should be a "best practice" and write accordingly. Dr. Fram has not done this and perhaps he opted to take a different path.
Two content exceptions do stand-out. Both timely and inclusive, there is the chapter titled "To Avoid Fraud, Boards Must Take Action". In this chapter he does a fine job offering a laundry list of what structure and what should be the focus of nonprofit boards regarding fraud prevention. I found this chapter helpful and inclusive and what would make an effective training pamphlet for boards trying to organize and understand their thoughts around fiduciary compliance. A second subject, "Understanding How Millennials Impact Nonprofits" was a great start to a subject I believe everyone has on their mind. This could make a book in itself and while there is only minimal content here, a sequel holds much promise.
Essentially and with some degree of disappointment, I found Going for Impact did not add anything of substance to the rather extensive body of prescriptive and descriptive information that is currently available on nonprofit governance. But, for those who have skipped the literature, what is included may well enlighten more than not reading anything to increase effectiveness - a goal to which Dr. Fram is clearly committed.