Board of Directors

Mission Moments: Keeping Your Board Connected

MISSION MOMENTS: KEEPING YOUR BOARD CONNECTED

Are your board members missing meetings? Not showing up at events? Are your board members M.I.A.? Fear not! You can keep them engaged with mission moments. 

Impact, Advocacy, and Board Responsibility

Impact, Advocacy, and Board Responsibility

With the publication last week of BoardSource’s updated Ten Basic Responsibilities of Board Members,  I’ve been thinking a lot about Crutchfield and Grant’s seminal Forces for Good book.  The Ten Basic Responsibilities of Board Members list of the core, fundamental, legal responsibilities of a Board member has been gospel for all of us for many years. Most of us have relied on this list to orient our board members and to explain board members’ responsibilities for new members.

When BoardSource changed this list last week, BoardSource didn’t make the number of items on the list longer, but what it did do is determine that ADVOCACY is a core responsibility of Board Members. The responsibility to advocate for the mission is added to the first core responsibility (to determine an organization's mission and purpose) and discussions of advocacy are added to several other responsibilities such as the responsibility to enhance an organization’s public standing.

How to Have Your Board Members Begging to Come Back

How to Have Your Board Members Begging to Come Back

How to Have Your Board Members Begging to Come Back

Russell, my husband and business partner who primarily works for the camping and retreat ministries of the United Methodist Church, made an off-hand comment in the car the other day. He mentioned that he was about to go do exit interviews with two of his board members who had completed their terms and rotated off the board and that both of them, in setting up the appointments, had said that they missed serving on the board so much, they hardly knew what to do.  Imagine, having board members dying to come back on board!

On his way to interview them, I gave him some questions to ask so that we could all gain some insight about factors contribute to their board service being such positive experiences. This is what he learned from these interviews about what they felt was important to creating a great board culture:

Career Advice for Nonprofit Professionals

Career Advice for Nonprofit Professionals

In the nonprofit sector, we nonprofit professionals apply for positions in the nonprofit sector. We have experience with nonprofit jobs.  Because we’re nonprofit professionals with nonprofit experience, applying for nonprofit jobs, we assume that the people who are reviewing our resumes understand what our titles and positions mean and entail.  They don’t.  Even if we list our accomplishments, they don’t get it.  Too often, board members are hiring or sitting on the search committees that hire us. Those board members are almost always business people who don’t understand what’s involved in our jobs.

Nonprofit Boards and the Dysfunctions of Team

Nonprofit Boards and the Dysfunctions of Team

Nonprofit Board members are unprepared to govern.  That’s the finding of the 2015 Survey on Board of Directors of Nonprofit Organizations, a study released in April jointly conducted by GuidestarBoardSource, and the Stanford Business School.

What remedies would we pursue if we were to view the breakdowns in our systems of nonprofit governance as failures of the early stages of team building rather than as the [later] results of process and outcomes failures? 

Breakfast Briefings Can Open Doors

Breakfast Briefings Can Open Doors

Early requests for sponsorship support were disappointing.  One company’s response was typical, “How come, if you’ve been serving the community for 23 years, we’ve never heard of you before?”

Not promising as far as beginnings of sponsorship campaigns go.

The organization needed to re-introduce itself to the community.  We decided to hold a Corporate Breakfast. 

Calling Up the Reserves - #AFPFC Wrap-Up

Calling Up the Reserves - #AFPFC Wrap-Up

Many organizations have some sort of Advisory Councils.  But often these councils, populated largely with former board members or community dignitaries that don’t have time to be board members, languish, largely neglected by the very organizations that have created them. They often have no clear purpose and meet infrequently.

But that doesn’t have to be the case.

5 Ways to Get Board Members to Fundraise on Giving Tuesday

5 Ways to Get Board Members to Fundraise on Giving Tuesday

How Can a Purple Rhino Help You Get Your Board to Raise Money on Giving Tuesday?

“The Super Bowl of Crowdfunding” – that’s what Blackbaud’s npEngage calls Giving Tuesday.  Wouldn’t it be great to have 100% board member involvement?

The newly released Leading with Intent preview from BoardSource shows that only 26% of Board members get involved with asking at some point in the year.  There is a lot of opportunity for improvement there.  So how can you get your board members to raise funds this #GivingTuesday?

Should a Board Have a Development Committee?

Should a Board Have a Development Committee?

In the last few years, a debate has emerged among nonprofit leaders about whether or not a board of directors should have a development committee.  The people who have suggested “no” make a very good point – that fundraising is the responsibility of every board member, not just a select few.  Many observe that on boards where there are fundraising committees, the board members tend to defer and overly rely on the handful of Board members who are on that committee.

As someone who has spent most of my career as a fundraising professional and a good chunk of the rest of it as an Executive Director without a fundraising staff (and, therefore, a fundraising professional in addition to being an E.D.), I believe a development committee is vital.

Email MORE Not LESS

Email MORE Not LESS

Fundraisers everywhere are biting their nails, worrying about whether or not their appeals will result in the gifts their organizations need to be able to meet their budgets and asking themselves what more they can do.

So what can you do?  Email more, not less.