Wednesday, April 24, 2013

Recruiting and Retaining The Right Board Members for your Nonprofit Board – Introduction

Guest blog post written by Jeanne Drake Ward of Jeanne Ward Consulting.

Creating and sustaining a solid board of directors for your nonprofit is a significant task. Certain steps can  help to ensure a strong, collaborative and working board to benefit the nonprofit organization you lead. Here are the steps that can be completed to guide you and your board to success!

Preparing for the creation of or for supplementing your board, no matter what stage your board and organization is at, is a key ingredient for success. As Benjamin Franklin said, “an ounce of prevention is  worth a pound of cure”. Taking these steps can help provide your nonprofit board with such benefits as motivated and engaged board members, collaboration among your board and the executive director as well as continued growth toward your Vision in the years to come.

When creating or sustaining your board, you should determine which person or people will be in charge of these steps. Do you have a Board Chairperson who will hold this responsibility or do you have a Committee that will address these issues? When taking steps to ensure a solid board, it is important to first Assess, then Plan, followed by some Training and finally continuous Management of the work and efforts that you have put in place. These steps can be reviewed in the below graphic:

I will take the next four weeks to discuss each of these four steps in more detail. It's always a great time to review these steps to determine if your board is in need of a change. If so, you can use these steps to begin to alter and rebuild the strength of your board. You may find that it is time to focus on only one area of these steps. For example, have you taken the first two steps of Assessing and Planning, but then got stuck on Training? It's not too late. Take some time to decide what knowledge or skills your board is in need of. Then organize a training for them to gain the needed knowledge or skills.

Next week, we'll begin by determining where your board is at and what are your current needs. Looking forward to spending more time with you on these critical aspects of Board Recruitment and Retention!

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