This post appears in the May edition of reSources – Fairmount’s monthly collection of ideas for people who want more impact, better fundraising and to stay connected to the region’s impact creators. Subscribe here – it’s free.
1. Inquire: Ask new board member(s) what they want to learn, and where they think they can be most effective. Think of it as a relationship in which both parties have something to offer and an expectation to receive. Clear and mutual expectations help board members focus on the bigger picture of how they can advance your mission.
2. Involve: Being on a board is not a spectator sport. Too many organizations work hard real hard finding accomplished decision makers for their board, and then don’t give them meaningful work to do. If you want to get the most out of board members, ask a lot of them. Have active committees that are properly supported by staff, with timely information, an established schedule of meetings and well organized, engaging discussions. Instill new board members with the understanding that they joined a high-performing, engaged board.
3. Inspire: Let them get up front and personal with your organization’s services, showing them your mission in action. Seeing the impact of your organization and meeting your clients, as appropriate, will help solidify their belief that being on your board matters. If your new board members feel their work is meaningful, they are more likely to remain engaged, willing to fundraise and introduce people they know to your important cause.