Gayle Binney

Adjunct Associate Professor of Public Service

Gayle Binney is Board Relations Director at New York Public Radio. She works as a liaison between the 40 members of the board of trustees, President & CEO, and senior management to ensure successful communication and strategic planning on behalf of the organization. She held a similar director-level position at The New School, where she served as Assistant Secretary of the Corporation, Board of Trustees for nearly three years. With expertise as an executive director, board member, program developer, grantmaker, and fundraiser, Gayle is committed to excellence in the establishment and achievement of organizational priorities.

Prior to her position at The New School, Gayle served as Manager of Corporate Responsibility at The Dannon Company for nearly nine years. In this role, Gayle directed the company's corporate grantmaking/donations and employee volunteerism as a member of the corporate affairs department. She also served as Manager of the Dannon Institute, an independent foundation. In this role, Gayle promoted and executed nutrition education and leadership programming on behalf of the Dannon Institute’s Board of Directors. She was responsible for all legal, financial and business management aspects of the Dannon Institute as a 501c3 private foundation.

Currently serving on the Board of Directors for Volunteer New York!, Gayle is the past President of the Board of Directors for the Cornelia de Lange Syndrome Foundation and the Founding Secretary/Treasurer of the Ronald McDonald House of New York City Junior Committee. She has been an adjunct instructor for New York University's Robert F. Wagner School (Nonprofit Governance) and for National University (Strategic Communications Online Degree Programs). She has also spoken on the topic of nonprofit governance for The Aspen Institute.

Gayle received her B.A. in Organizational Communication from Pepperdine University and her Master of Public Administration in Finance Specialization from NYU Wagner.

This course is intended for graduate students interested in learning about the governance of nonprofit organizations and the role of nonprofit boards.

The role of the nonprofit board member has always been significant, but never as demanding as it is today.  With nonprofits addressing significant community needs with constricting financial resources, board members must provide both strategic leadership and responsible stewardship, with a focus on financial sustainability.  This course will examine the role of the board and will explore common questions about the roles of board members: Are board members essentially advocates and fundraisers?  Do they direct the organization to the extent staff is unable? Or is the board’s role primarily defined by their need to resolve a crisis situation for the nonprofit organization?

By the end of this course, students will understand how nonprofits are governed and some of the current issues in nonprofit governance. Topics covered in classroom lecture, discussion and applied case studies will include the structure, functions, recruitment and composition of nonprofit boards; the relation of the board to management; the board’s role in both compliance and strategic planning; and improving board performance and accountability.

At the end of the course, learners will understand:
1. Board structure, functions and composition.
2. The relationship of the board to organizational/CEO performance.
3. Fiduciary, strategic, and generative governance.
4. Common problems and issues in non-profit governance, from both short and long term perspectives.
5. How to assess interventions to improve board performance.

Download Syllabus