Recruit and Retain a Strong Nonprofit Board of Directors in 2014 – Step 4

Step 4 – Manage to Maintain a Strong Board


Today is the last installment of the 4 steps you can take to recruiting and retaining the right board members for your nonprofit organization’s (NPO) board of directors.  We will discuss Step 4- Managing your board.  Managing and maintaining a good, strong functioning board can be challenging.  When you have taken the previously stated 3 steps, it is then time to monitor the efforts that you have already put in place.   To manage and monitor the efforts you have put in place, the following steps are helpful:

  1. Check in with your board members regularly.  Determine their level of engagement and happiness to serve on the board. What do they enjoy about being on the board?  Where are their concerns?
  2. Review the level of commitment of your board members.  Are they attending meetings and participating as expected?  Are they providing their financial contribution as expected?  Do you know how they are representing the organization in the community?
  3. Ensure that there is continuous self-evaluation of the board.  We are all human and will need to routinely asses our own performance as a board.  It is important to do this for the benefit of the organization.  Is the organization currently working within its stated Mission?  Is the organization being led by the board towards its Vision?  Where does the organization stand fiscally?
  4. Is there a need for change?  Are there issues arising that lead to the need to re-assess the current board members?  Or is there a need for additional training?  Does your organization need to do or update your strategic planning?
  5. It is vitally important to remember that your board members are volunteers.  Recognize their efforts in a way that they will appreciate.  It is important to recognize the benefits that they bring your organization.


Focusing on the above steps will support your NPO board of directors to find the people who are the best fit for your board.  When your board has the best members, the right leadership and continuously monitors itself, it can better retain these members as well as be inviting to future, potential candidates.  Such a board is in the best position to govern your organization strongly and successfully. 

I hope that these steps help you and your board in 2014!  If you would like to read the previous installments of Recruiting and Retaining the Right Board Members for your Board, please go to Introduction, Step 1-Assess, Step 2-Plan and Step 3-Train.


Photo credit to: Microsoft Office Clip Art

Jeanne Ward is a Consultant and Personal Strategist who brings her knowledge of psychology, strategy and personal fulfillment to her current work. Jeanne started her career by helping mentally ill inmates to ‘get their lives back on track’ as they integrated back into society from jail in NYC. She leveraged this experience with a Social Work degree to manage teams who were supporting people trying to move back into the workforce. She later lived in Atlanta, GA and Frankfurt, Germany where she began consulting with nonprofit organizations to guide them on their strategy, volunteer development, and organizational development as well as to support the development of their leaders and board of directors. After the jolt of a divorce, Jeanne found herself doing a lot of soul-searching. Digging deep, she arrived at a new-found appreciation for herself and the world around her. This journey taught her that when we start with improving ourselves, the benefits multiply. Jeanne realized that her strengths of strategic thinking, relationship building, and implementation planning could be combined into her ongoing passion of personal leadership. Hence, her personal strategy work was born. Jeanne helps men and women between the ages of 35 and 55 who are fed up with their corporate jobs to create fulfilling professional and personal lives through the development of a personal strategic plan. This work ensures that her clients identify their professional and personal goals as well as create a plan to make those goals a reality. Jeanne is also the Executive Director of the Atlanta Road Trotters Kid’s Running Club, a nonprofit organization that provides a platform for children to build a foundation of running health and fitness which leads to a better connection to the organized running community as well as a strong foundation of Discipline, Self-Esteem, Respect and Team Work. She has also co-authored a workbook on networking, founded and organized the National Association of Social Workers-Georgia-sponsored ‘Social Service Career Network’ and organized a summit for the National Alliance for Mentally Ill attended by over 100 organizations from 6 Atlanta counties. Previously, she sat on the board of NASW GA as their Secretary as well as on the board of NAMI GA/DeKalb as their Co-President, was a senior consultant for the Georgia Center for Nonprofits and helped to run a capital campaign for an independent school. Jeanne has an MSW from Hunter School of Social Work (City University of New York), an MA in Forensic Psychology from John Jay College of Criminal Justice (City University of New York) and a BA in Psychology from Emory University. Jeanne lives in Atlanta with her ten-year-old son.

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