Understanding Board Chair Dynamics: 10 Rules to Maximize Board Chair Success
My most rewarding experience while working with a new board chair was when he asked me on day one to help make him the best chair possible. I kept him informed and prepared to do his job in the best way. I exposed him to other organizational nonprofit board leaders and shared best-of-class contacts. We became close friends and colleagues, especially during his leadership tenure. We made changes that improved meeting agendas and board involvement in the organization.
The board chair and I worked from a written organizational/strategic plan and monitored progress along the way. Term limits were enforced, and the chair made board members accountable for the acquisition of time, talent and treasure. We both anticipated each other's needs and wants. I had tears in my eyes when his tenure ended. It is rare when you experience the relationship I had with that volunteer!
It is imperative that you understand board chair dynamics. Never take this responsibility for granted. Your organizational success as an executive depends in part on the progress of the volunteer board you help guide. Enjoy the experience, and embrace the ever-changing challenge.
Duke Haddad, Ed.D., CFRE, is currently associate director of development, director of capital campaigns and director of corporate development for The Salvation Army Indiana Division in Indianapolis. He also serves as president of Duke Haddad and Associates LLC and is a freelance instructor for Nonprofit Web Advisor.
He has been a contributing author to NonProfit PRO since 2008.
He received his doctorate degree from West Virginia University with an emphasis on education administration plus a dissertation on donor characteristics. He received a master’s degree from Marshall University with an emphasis on public administration plus a thesis on annual fund analysis. He secured a bachelor’s degree (cum laude) with an emphasis on marketing/management. He has done post graduate work at the University of Louisville.
Duke has received the Fundraising Executive of the Year Award, from the Association of Fundraising Professionals Indiana Chapter. He also was given the Outstanding West Virginian Award, Kentucky Colonel Award and Sagamore of the Wabash Award from the governors of West Virginia, Kentucky and Indiana, respectively, for his many career contributions in the field of philanthropy. He has maintained a Certified Fund Raising Executive (CFRE) designation for three decades.