8 Ways To Get Your Board To Be More Productive
I’ve been on both sides of board management: as a staffer trying to work with my boards more effectively, and as the well-meaning board member struggling to juggle volunteerism with my personal and professional to do list. Despite best intentions, sometimes board members are so busy that they are unable to do their best for your organization.
Here are 8 small ways to get your board to be more productive:
Communicating by email:
1. I recently read a study that said people are more likely to respond to emails sent earlier in the week. If you are assigning tasks, getting emails out to board members at the top of the week gives them the chance to address the message before the weeks business takes over.
2. Busy board members will likely be reading your message on a Blackberry or similar device–so make sure your message is readable by PDA.
3. Start and end your meetings on time. I’ve found the one hour meeting ideal for productivity and for retaining focus. Anything over an hour tends to get counterproductive and off agenda.
4. Go green! Email documents before your meeting so board members can check and prepare to fully take part and ask questions at the meeting.
5. If needed, consider online web casts and conference calls to boost participation and attendance at meetings.
Getting tasks completed
6. Get specific about what you want from your board. Assign bite sized tasks instead of big sized goals. For example, if you need board members to raise $ 50,000 for a campaign, give a specific dollar goal to each board member.
7. Set timelines and deadlines for completing tasks and communicate regularly to check board members progress. When working on a time limited campaign, send brief weekly updates to help keep everyone on track.
8. Most board members don’t need plaques and certificates to feel satisfied. Being able to serve and see the true difference they are making is often thanks enough. Share the stories of your success and triumphs often.
Be intentional about maintaining good communication with your board members, and make it simple for them to support your organization. A positive and successful board experience deepens the connection to your organization and helps ensure their continued support.
Get this post as a Powerpoint presentation
Article: The Boards Role in Fundraising. Link also includes additional readings, recommendations and resources
Board Source Essentials – Great non-profit knowledge center from one of leading sources for non-profit consulting
Boardnetusa- Helps match prospective board members to non-profit organizations
Idealist.org Non-Profit FAQ – General information, definitions and facts about non-profit boards including links to additional information
Toolkit for Boards – Covers the main topics for running a non-profit board properly