Effective Financial Governance for Independent School Trustees

Effective Financial Governance
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Bolton & Company

With generous support from Bolton & Company

Boards of trustees and their finance committees can better fulfill their stewardship and fiduciary responsibilities with an enhanced understanding of the financial model and related drivers of K-12 nonprofit independent schools. This book provides board members with essential knowledge of key concepts and strategic considerations as well as the questions they should ask school administration. It also addresses how school leadership — the business officer, head of school and other administrators — can work effectively with the board on financial matters, respond to trustee needs and communicate in a relevant, concise and actionable way with the goal of driving consequential discussions.


  1. How To Use This Book
  2. Operational Drivers of School Finances
  3. Financial Health and Performance
  4. Resource Allocation
  5. Liquidity
  6. Budgets
  7. Net Assets
  8. Tuition and Financial Aid
  9. Contributions and Fundraising
  10. Auxiliary Services
  11. Personnel Costs
  12. Plant Assets and Operations
  13. Debt Management
  14. Endowment Funds and UPMIFA

Additional Materials

  • Online eBook version included with print purchase
  • Links to related NBOA Resources

Publication Date: September 2020


Phil Tahey

Phil Tahey

Independent Consultant

Ron Salluzzo

Ron Salluzzo

Attain, LLC


  Print + eBook* eBook Only**  
NBOA Members $60 $50 Order Now
Nonmembers $85 $75 Order Now

* Print version includes: Softcover print book + Online eBook

** eBook version includes: Online eBook

Bulk orders of 5 or more print copies will be discounted 25%. With bulk print orders, the person ordering will receive 1 eBook log-in. So for example, if a school orders 10 print copies, they will receive 10 print books and 1 eBook log-in.

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Online eBooks may be read on any internet-enabled device through your eLibrary on nboa.directfrompublisher.com. Offline access is available. You may print up to 20% of your online eBook.

All sales are final. We are unable to issue refunds for print or e-books.

"'Effective Financial Governance for Independent School Trustees' is the best thinking that I've seen compiled in one work that explains best practices for creating a sustainable financial model as well as harmonious and effective work between the school's administrative leadership and the board."

John Gulla

Executive Director, Edward E. Ford Foundation

"'Effective Financial Governance' is the definitive resource for independent school trustees, heads of school, and business officers who need to understand the nuances and complexities of independent school finance. It is also designed for anyone seeking to challenge their current assumptions, enhance their financial toolbox or redesign their financial reports. This guide delves beyond stewardship and fiduciary duties. The authors' key questions and fundamental information prompt new thinking on familiar issues. The innovative suggestions dispersed throughout this guide can be used as a starting point and provide a common language to teams when discussing sensitive issues. This is the must-have item for all in this ever-changing and evolving market."

Linda P. M. Dennison

Director of Finance and Comptroller, Phillips Academy