For some summer reading, I’ve put together some tactical suggestions that can help engage the energy of your Board of Directors.
Make board meetings interesting
1. Send committee reports in advance and only discuss those with an action recommendation or that are seeking board input
2. Include a strategic or tactical issue for discussion in every board agenda
3. Include an executive session at the end of every board meeting to allow for the expression of ideas that board members may have self-censored due to the presence of staff
4. Include a “mission moment” at every board meeting for a presentation by staff (or a client) of a story about the organization’s impact.
Make board membership rewarding
5. Give kudos. Acknowledge special contributions of board members, e.g. introductions, access to resources, volunteer expertise, etc.
6. Encourage board members to spend time getting to know each other. Personal connections build a sense of mutual responsibility.
Make fundraising less challenging
7. Discuss ways that board members can cultivate potential donors
Make more efficient use of board member’s time
8. Create a board leadership team to manage and support the work of the committees and to plan the agenda
9. Hold an annual board panning meeting to establish the priority committee objectives for the year
10. Schedule weekly check-in meetings for the ED and the Board Chair.
You can find more detail on any of the above on my web site in the Board Tune Up Kit and in the Thoughts From the Coach Boat archive. www.boardcoach.com
Email questions/comments to: firstname.lastname@example.org
Michael Davidson is a consultant specializing in nonprofit board development, management support, leadership transition, and executive coaching for nonprofit managers. He has over 30 years experience in nonprofit board and managerial leadership and has provided board training and retreat facilitation for more than 150 nonprofit organizations. He is the former Chair of Governance Matters, designed and led the board candidate and organizational training for the Board Serve NYC program of the United Way of New York City and is a member of the Selection Committee for the New York Community Trust Nonprofit Excellence Awards.
He has been a Peace Corps Volunteer, an Assistant Professor of Anthropology, an Assistant District Attorney and an attorney in private practice. He holds a BS in mathematics from New York State University College on Long Island, a JD from Columbia Law School and an M. Ph in Anthropology from Yale University.
For more detail, see: www.boardcoach.com