As it is a new year and many of us are re-assessing our lives as they are now and how we would like them to be, I think it is a fitting time to take a look at your nonprofit board of directors. Are you all working from the same mindset? Does everyone know the values, mission and vision of the organization and are making decisions based on these important factors? Since the board helps to set the tone of a nonprofit’s culture, I am re-publishing, with some updates, this and the next 4 blog posts to help you ensure that you are recruiting and retaining a strong nonprofit board of directors.
Creating and sustaining a solid board of directors for your nonprofit is a significant task. Many boards have failed to take particular steps that would help to ensure a strong, collaborative and working board to benefit the nonprofit organization that they lead. Here are some tasks that can be completed to guide you and your board to success!
Preparing for the creation of your board or for supplementing your board, no matter what stage your board and organization are at, is a key ingredient for success. As Benjamin Franklin said, “an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure”. Taking these steps can help provide your nonprofit board with such benefits as motivated and engaged board members, collaboration among your board and the executive director as well as continued growth toward your vision in the years to come.
When creating or sustaining your board, it is important to first Assess, then Plan, followed by some Training and finally continuous Management of the work and efforts that you have put in place. These steps can be reviewed in the below graphic:
I will take the next four weeks to discuss each of these four steps in more detail. It’s always a great time to review these steps to determine if your board is in need of a change. If so, you can use these steps to begin to alter and rebuild the strength of your board. You may find that it is time to focus on only one area of these steps. For example, have you taken the first two steps of Assessing and Planning, but then got stuck on Training? It’s not too late. Take some time to decide what knowledge or skills your board is in need of. Then organize a training for them to gain the needed knowledge or skills.
In two weeks, we’ll begin by determining where your board is at and what are your current needs. I look forward to spending more time with you on these critical aspects of Board Recruitment and Retention!
Photo credit to: Microsoft Office Clip Art