Are You Bored With Your Board?
Merriam-Webster's Collegiate Dictionary defines the term "bored" as something devoid of interest. Do you currently feel bored with your board? If so, I recommend a wake-up call.
Nonprofit organizations rely on their boards of directors to help reach, maintain or exceed expectations of success. Board members represent the external piece of a larger puzzle that involves administration, staff, volunteers, internal and external stakeholders, plus others over time. Board members are recruited, trained and engaged in a variety of ways. Many organizations have foundation/fundraising boards but do not know how to use their boards effectively. For a variety of reasons, some of you are simply bored with your board!
Foundation board members need to provide several key functions as leaders of an organization: to help set policies and see that the policies are carried out; ensure that the organization is financially stable and possibly thriving, not just surviving; work closely with organizational leadership and staff; define and clarify the mission; help develop a strategic plan and execute the plan; assist in fundraising and friendraising; act as ambassadors for the organization; and identify then recruit new board members to keep the juices flowing.
Many organizations fail to realize that a foundation/fundraising board needs to focus on raising funds! Many boards spend time determining how to invest monies or in nonproductive activities. Board members do not know their specific roles on the board. They meet rarely; do not have goals and objectives, written responsibilities, or term limits; and are not used in a proactive way. No wonder your members are bored with the organization. In today's reality, this situation is totally unacceptable. Organizations are attempting not to thrive, but survive, and need effective board members more than ever before.
To start anew, begin by communicating with your board members. Get to know them individually, and note their strengths and weaknesses. See what excites them with respect to the organization, and consider how to best use them for your success. Determine what committees you need and the profiles of members to generate new and effective services.
Duke has extensive experience as a nonprofit practitioner, author, lecturer and consultant. He has been a contributing author to NonProfit PRO for the last 11 years. He has been a long-standing member of the Association of Fundraising Professionals where he was previously named the AFP Indiana Chapter Fundraising Executive of the Year and has held the CFRE designation for many years.
He received his doctorate degree from West Virginia University with an emphasis in education administration, master's degree from Marshall University with an emphasis in public administration and a bachelor's degree from West Virginia University with an emphasis in marketing/management. He has also completed post graduate work at the University of Louisville.
He is currently executive director of development for The Salvation Army Indiana Division in Indianapolis, Indiana. Contact Duke at firstname.lastname@example.org or 317-224-1029.