Many membership organizations have a Board of Directors or a Board of Advisors. Effective boards are essential to the success of your organization, but it can be a challenge to get the right people on the board working together toward the right goal. In this week’s Association Debrief, we take a look at how to develop a great board.
Though nonprofit boards are generally made up of volunteers, it doesn’t follow that volunteer board members are always prepared for their positions. Instead, many feel can feel overwhelmed or in over their heads as they grapple with what it means to be a board member. This article explores how to train nonprofit board members to be successful in their positions, and goes into detail in each of the article’s six suggestions: learning the governing structures and documents, knowing and upholding board and individual roles and responsibilities, knowing how the organization operates, understanding the board’s fiduciary duty and what that entails, strategic planning and learning how to respectfully and openly carry out the board’s role.
When you’re recruiting for your board, you want high-energy, dedicated people who will uphold and develop the mission and position of your organization. But how can you identify them? This article identifies five traits of great board members that you can look for when selecting or nominating your board. These traits include holding themselves and others accountable, being passionate about the mission, opening doors to donors and being donors themselves, focusing on the mission with a view to the big picture and not being afraid to ask the hard questions.
Boards can be complicated entities, made up of individuals with their own motivations, goals, and agendas. To help understand how boards operate and how to get the most out of your board, this article presents a Q&A session with Rachel Muir of Pursuant, who answers a variety of questions about how to motivate boards and turn them into great fundraisers. Some of the questions topics include how to motivate and engage appointed boards, how to “retrain” an existing board and when board members should be replaced.
We live in a time of change, and it is the responsibility of every board and board member to take a hard look at the future. This article discusses how board members have a “duty of foresight” that will allow them to prepare their organizations and stakeholders for whatever comes next. It discusses three core concepts that make up the “duty of foresight,” including strategic legitimacy, board stewardship and readiness to learn, and suggests that boards take action by developing a stewardship statement and consistently practicing foresight in their capacity as board members.
Board meetings can be effective, efficient decision-making machines, politically-driven nightmares, or anything in between. This article, based on a Wild Apricot webinar with Rick Lent, suggests eight steps that you can use to run effective board meetings. These include creating an agenda, establishing a new seating arrangement and using discussion and question tools discussed in the article. It also suggests assigning responsibilities to share the management of a board meeting, and agreeing beforehand what constitutes agreement or consensus among the board.