Tag Archives: Nonprofit board memebers

Ways to Retain Nonprofit Board Members

Ways to Retain Nonprofit Board Members

Most nonprofit organizations will tell you that a motivated and compassionate team is what drives the day-to-day function of their organization. Key areas like administration, program coordinators, and direct service specialists are the heart and soul of what makes a nonprofit successful in addressing client needs and building a solid reputation as skilled providers in the community.

But where does leadership fall in this combination of expertise and connection to stakeholders?When contemplating your next steps in broadening awareness and projecting services to the next level, nonprofit consulting firms will tell you the strategy begins with the formation of a strong, sustainable board of directors.

A team of board members who are engaged with their community as well as in their industries,coupled with the desire to improve the lives of those served by a specific nonprofit, are an integral component of successful, long-term planning for growth.

But once you have these leaders on board, how do you keep their interest? How do you leverage their influence to drive an organization’s plan for maintaining services to those individuals who have the most need?

Where To Begin

The first piece of ordinary, yet effective advice a nonprofit consultant will tell you is to
run efficient, informative meetings. Board members by nature are busy people. In addition to their careers, they are involved in professional and philanthropic efforts and need time for their families and personal interests as well. Their time is a precious commodity and they cannot afford to waste it attending a 3-hour meeting that should have been an hour.

Ensure that agendas are created and disseminated to board members prior to meetings. Any questions that board members have about the agenda should be received prior to the meeting so that it can be properly addressed during the meeting without losing time and getting off track at the meeting. Don’t repeat in a meeting what has already been read in an email or report. Use this time for active discussions that propel the goals and tasks within the agenda.

And this might seem obvious, but since board meetings often occur around mealtimes it is always a welcome courtesy to provide refreshments. You don’t want your board members thinking about dinner when you want them to engage with the work at hand. It’s another way to show you care about them, their time and want to provide them with something in return.

Do They Know Your Story?

The stronger and more personal their connection is to your mission and vision the more likely board members will want to stay around to celebrate successful results. Since your staff members, especially those in direct service, intimately know your programs and gaps that may exist, they are an enormous resource to convey the impact of your nonprofit in the community. Enlist staff members to give presentations about programs and the people who are helped. Don’t be afraid to tug at their heartstrings. Remind board members why they are there and what they can do to keep the mission alive. Share success stories, but also describe areas where needs are not being met and what marginalized populations might be falling through the cracks.

Have They Experienced Your Work First-Hand?

It is one thing to hear reports about those vulnerable people who are helped or community
issues that are addressed, but it is another thing entirely for board members to join in on the work your organization does every day.

Invite board members to “shadow” staff members who are out in the community providing
direct services. We all know that people suffer from hunger, but that hunger looks different when serving food in a homeless shelter. We also know that there are folks who don’t possess the skills to land meaningful jobs that support their families. Board members can observe staff members providing employment skills to refugees and immigrants, the recently incarcerated, and people with physical or mental disabilities.

The more board members see, the more they are able to be an advocate for your organization in the community.

Don’t Forget the All-Important Thank You

Your board members aren’t volunteering for your organization because they expect a thank you or want any praise, but that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t give it to them when appropriate. And it doesn’t have to be grand or cost you much money. A nicely written thank you card goes a long way! But your appreciation can also be shown by providing small gifts, appreciation luncheons or even shout outs at events. By providing an environment where their endeavors impact their philanthropic passion, your nonprofit will enjoy the benefits of a board with staying power.

They will firmly connect with your work and enjoy being part of the solution that improves the quality of life in all of our communities. If you’re concerned about the best ways for your nonprofit organization to retain valuable board members, reach out to KM Clark Consulting for help. We know how important your board members are to you and we want to see them stick around for the long haul. Let us help you create a plan to make that happen. Contact us today to get started!

How to Build the Most Impactful Board for Your Nonprofit

How to Build the Most Impactful Board for Your Nonprofit

We understand it can be really tough to know where to start when building a nonprofit board and recruiting new board members. You want to find individuals with the right skills and experience, but you also need people who will be committed to building a sustainable nonprofit and helping move the cause forward. It’s a tough balance to find, especially in today’s world.

Without the right people on your board, though, your nonprofit will struggle. Board members are responsible for making decisions that impact the entire organization. So, you have to make sure you’re picking the right people for the job.

We’re gonna give you tips we use at our nonprofit consulting agency to help you as you look for new board members! By recruiting individuals with valuable experience, connections, and personal attributes, you can create a board that is truly impactful for your nonprofit!

Look for Passionate People

Passion should be at the top of your list of qualities to look for in potential board members, along with community connections and expertise. Passionate people are excited to learn about the organization and its mission. They’re also more likely to serve on committees and put extra effort into board meetings and meeting prep. You know what they say about surrounding yourself with people with a shared vision, right? When you are building a nonprofit board, this becomes even more important because you’ll be spending a lot of time with the individuals you choose.

Consider Their Personality

Personality is always important, but what kind of personality should your board members have? They should be passionate, with lots of expertise and great connections, but they should also have great people skills! Board members need to be accountable, amiable and confident. They also need a good degree of flexibility, because they might be asked to take on different roles on committees or in fundraising.

Make Sure They Have the Time

When building a sustainable nonprofit board, the most desirable board members are likely to have busy schedules, which is fine up to a point. What we don’t want is a great board member who ends up being too busy to carry out their responsibilities. Remind your candidates about the time commitment and ask them if they can do that. Great questions to ask look like:

  • Can you commit the time necessary to be an effective board member?
  • Have you been a board member before?
  • How did that go?
  • How many other boards have you served on?
  • If you were accepted to this board, how will you balance the responsibilities of your other boards and your time as a board member?
  • What sorts of things do you enjoy doing in your free time?
  • Do any of those activities conflict with your responsibilities to this board?

Consider their answers before you make a decision, because your board members will need to commit a significant amount of time, energy, and effort for your nonprofit to be successful.

See What Skills They Can Offer

One of the best ways to find a great board member is by checking their resume. You want someone with the skills and knowledge needed for your organization, but it’s important they share in its passion too! If you see things like financial management, fundraising, or strategic planning on their resume, that’s a great sign because these skills will prove to be invaluable for your organization.

Recruit Existing Board Members to Help

The best way to find new board members is by asking your current board members for referrals. Chances are, they know at least a few people who would be great additions to the board. You can also ask them about the skills and work experience they think the board will need. This is a great way to get a sense of what kind of people you should be targeting.

Nonprofit Consulting for Growth and Sustainability

Struggling to find the right people to help your nonprofit grow? KM Clark Consulting Group can help! We offer a variety of nonprofit consulting services to help you build a board that is both qualified and passionate about your cause. Let us remove some of that burden off your shoulders. We’re excited to get started on this journey with you.

A strong, qualified board is essential for any nonprofit organization. With our help, you can find the right people who will support your mission and vision for years to come. Board members are an important part of any organization – let us show you how to find the best ones for your nonprofit.

Contact us today to learn more about our nonprofit consulting services!