In the past few articles, we’ve discussed steps that you should follow for the development and training necessary to create an exceptional nonprofit board. Today, Part 3 of this series looks at the way you can engage your board in the process. Your goal is to create a highly functional board, with members who are proactively participating in the responsibilities and activities of the organization.
Engaging Members in the Work of the Board
When new board members join the team, they should be actively engaged as soon as possible to tap into the momentum of their initial enthusiasm. At the same time, long-time members need to be engaged in the work to maintain the ongoing efforts that contribute to the success of the organization.
The most effective way for board members to be engaged is to ensure they have a stake in the effort. When individuals have a personal connection to the mission of the organization, they will be self-motivated to participate. Each person needs their own hopes and aspirations to be connected with the board’s activities. You can do this by getting to know each person so their skills can be used most effectively.
Involving Board Members in the Organization
Here are a few tips to improve board member involvement in the organization:
- Structure meetings so the board members feel their time is well spent
- Design task forces and committees based on the talent, time and interests of board members
- Give everyone specific responsibilities and jobs to do
- Hold members accountable for their responsibilities
- Invite members to offer individual assignments and initiatives
- Request feedback and meeting evaluations from board members
- Encourage people to ask questions and offer suggestions
- Keep everyone informed between meetings through email or other technology
- Build a diverse team with varies expertise and perspectives – and treat everyone equally
- Mold an atmosphere of acceptance and cohesiveness to nurture a team mindset
- Plan occasional retreats as needed
At Mirenda & Associates, we are committed to helping you create an effective, successful board. If you need assistance with training and board organization, call or text to learn how we can help. We can send you helpful articles on this phase of board development.