When it comes to managing your board members, it can be a tricky thing. Depending on the lifetime of your organization, you may have started with a few eager folks that love your cause but have absolutely no idea what they are doing BUT they want to help. You might be on the opposite extreme and have an organization that has been around for decades or part of a larger platform and your board has highly qualified local and non-local CEO’s, CFO’s, CMO’s and so on.
No matter what stage your organization is in looking at who is on your board and how they are performing should be analyzed annually, as well as, what your charter outlines for board terms. Think about your employees, you have specific tasks for them to accomplish. You give them goals and training to have the skills and resources to do the tasks, then you provide them with a biannual or annual review of how they are doing.
Board members need to be taken through a similar process. Just because they are volunteering their time, doesn’t mean they get to get away with not producing results or providing valuable tools and resources to the organization. The review process is important for everyone, no matter how long they have been on the board.
Each person on the board should provide a unique insight, have valuable connections and abilities, be passionate about the organization and want to do more than just show up to meetings. You do not want a board member who only occasionally shows up and then takes credit for success that was not their doing.
When you are just starting out piecing together a board, communication is going to feel like overkill! Getting everyone on the same page to accomplish the same things can be really challenging.
When you’ve inherited a board, you might find that change is needed. This is usually something everyone dreads dealing with!
Something to keep in mind as you engage with your board members, is that they are there to help your organization be successful. Which means operationally, financially, and supportively. If they are not helping you get or give, then they need to get off.
Keeping people around too long is never a good idea. You know that saying “you’ve overstayed your welcome,” when building a successful board and growing your organization to the potential it has sometimes you have to make tough decisions. Don’t let board members overstay their welcome!
To building successful boards,
Danielle Snelson | CEO | TheFundraisingMethod.com | firstname.lastname@example.org
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