Get Started and Tutorial

Get Started and Tutorial
Welcome to the Academy’s DPG, MIG, and Affiliate Governance Management Resource Website!

Website Tutorial

To help you navigate this website, watch a 12-minute video walking you through how to access resources, find templates, and share documents. Access the tutorial.

What is Governance Management?

The governance management website’s purpose is to provide access to resources and templates for building and managing your organizations’ structure and goals. This website creates a way for you to share your plans with other DPG, MIGs, and affiliates. The tools on this website are designed to assist your organization regardless of where you are in managing your governing documents. Your organization may be starting from scratch or simply looking for ways to improve your processes. The goal of this tool is to provide a place for you as a volunteer to find help and knowledge in the critical areas required of your position.
Governance management is an integral component in managing a successful organization.Think of governance as the skeleton of your organization.
  • It includes setting a mission and vision that provides your organization definition of why it exists.
  • Bylaws or guiding principles are the rules that dictate how your organization functions.
  • The strategic plan helps you set goals and prioritize the focus of your organization to achieve the mission and vision.
  • A volunteer structure helps you find the right people to execute your goals, while policies help to keep consistency in your organization.
Taking the time to create, update, and maintain governing documents will help your organization become more organized. It will save you time and allow you to work more efficiently. Volunteers are successful when provided clear definition of their role and what work they are to do and when. Governing documents will help you lay that foundation and help your organization grow from year over year.
All DPG, MIG, and Affiliate volunteers and leaders are welcome to access the resources available on this website. Chairs, presidents, and executive directors have additional access to upload documents to the library and view the plans of other organizations.

Get Started!

The website is divided into 5 components:
  • Mission and Vision
  • Bylaws or Guiding Principles
  • Strategic Planning
  • Volunteer Structure
  • And Policies
If you are unsure where to begin, take a look at your organization to see if it already has any of these documents. This will help you know if you need to start from scratch to create documents or if current documents or procedures can simply be updated or reviewed.
The mission and vision page defines what a mission and vision is. One of the responsibilities of a nonprofit executive committee or board is determining the purpose of the organization. The executive committee or board should define what the organization strives to achieve through a written mission and vision statement. The mission describes the organization in the present, and the vision guides the future
Next is the bylaws and governing documents page. Bylaws are for the Affiliates and Guiding Principles are for the DPGs and MIGs. These are the rules and methods that your organization follows to ensure legality and productivity. A well planned and clear structure will take out the guess work and corruption of an organization. Bylaws or Guiding Principles include such things as
  • The officers of the organization.
  • Rights and liabilities of membership.
  • Powers and duties of officers.
  • How directors are elected.
  • How meetings are conducted.
Next is strategic planning. This is the most in depth component included in governance management. Strategic Planning involves several steps which are highlighted on this page along with resources for each step. Strategic planning will take you through an in-depth analysis of your organization and the outside environment. Using this research - goals, objectives, and tactics should be developed that provide direction over the course of 3 to 5 years.
The strategic plan is the guide by which the annual plan of work, annual budget and committee work is developed. The goals of the strategic plan provide a framework for focus throughout the year.
A strategic plan can only be successful if you have resources allocated to fulfill the plan. As a non-profit organization, volunteers are your biggest asset. The volunteer structure page provides resources to develop a comprehensive and well-thought out plan for selecting the right volunteers and helping them to be successful in their positions.  Various resources and templates are available to explain the process of building a plan.
The final component is explained on the policies page. Policies are formal documents that explain the DPG, MIG, or affiliate’s position on a particular topic of compliance, regulations, standards, and guidelines. 

A policy includes:
  • Outlining rules.
  • Providing principles that guide actions.
  • Setting roles and responsibilities.
  • A reflection on values and beliefs.
  • States an intention to do something.
As you review what governance structure is in place in your organization you may choose to simply access one of the resource pages for tips and suggestions, or you may start at the beginning of the 5 components and go step by step through the process.

Governing Documents Library

The governing documents library is a place where the documents from each governance component can be uploaded for ease of tracking your organization’s documents. It is also a place to view the items that other groups have uploaded.
You may upload documents in the version that your organization uses, or you can use the templates from the Academy. 
The library is password protected and only available for DPG/MIG chairs, affiliate presidents, and executive directors. This is done so multiple people in your organization are not uploading documents and creating duplicate information. The majority of the resources on this website are not password protected. This was done so you can share links with any volunteers or leaders on your team who may benefit from the tools.

How to Upload and Access Items in the Library

To enter the library, click on the green “access the library” button. Your login and password is the same that you use to access the Academy’s website –  Once you have clicked on the green library button, you will see a “Topics” section that is split into the 5 areas. If you click on any of these 5 areas you will be taken to a screen with several options. You can either click on a file currently in the library or you can click “Add New” and “New File”. Then, follow the steps to click “add Files”, then “Start Upload” and then click “Upload Files”. Then click complete upload. You will then see your file appear in the library.
If you wish to delete the document you added, first click on the file it. Then click on the “modify item” button. Then scroll to the bottom and select “delete”. You may delete items if you accidently upload the wrong version of a document. Or, if you have a more recent version of a document and you would like to remove an old version.
To return to the topics, click on “View Library”.
After you add a new file. You will see it listed in the “recent files” side bar on the right hand side of the screen. This is an easy way to access the most up-to-date files.
You may also click on the text “My Recent” which will allow you to access only the files that you have recently added. This is helpful when you want to use the library as a way to track the documents for your organization in one place.

Contact Staff

If you have a question or need to contact a member of the DPG, MIG, or Affiliate Relations Team you may email using one of the two addresses listed on the contact staff page. The names of the individuals on the team are also available.

DPG, MIG, Affiliate Community of Interest Pages

You can access the DPG, MIG, and affiliate community of interest pages from the footer of the homepage. These are the pages that are customized by volunteer position and allow you to post comments and questions to each other on the discussion board. You can also access additional resources in the community library. For example, click on the DPG Community and you are taken to a new window that prompts you to log in. The access information for these pages are the same that you use for the Academy website. The only restriction is that only individual in particular positions of the DPG, MIG, or affiliate have access.  If you have questions or need help, contact the DPG, MIG, Affiliate Relations Team. A link to the Academy website is also available.


The DPG, MIG, Affiliate Relations team hopes this website is a useful tool to improve your organization and make your role as a volunteer a little easier. This website will continue to evolve over the next 1-2 years as interactive forms are incorporated to help your leaders develop and update plans. 

Please share your feedback with the team about how the website has been useful and how it can be improved.

Website Tutorial