Friday, April 11, 2014

Agenda item: Board member business cards

Agenda item 14: Provide board members with business cards.

This week's practical tip is an easy one: make connecting to you and your services easy by providing business cards to board members and asking them to share widely.

Whether the information is customized or generic, business cards offer board members a quick and convenient way to share your essential contact information with potential supporters. Our well-connected community leaders regularly encounter potential donors and volunteers. They interact with business owners, local city council members, state legislators and other key audiences. They may know someone who would benefit from your services.

They need an easy-to-carry (so they will) tool to make sharing you with others easier. A board or organizational business card is just that, because it fits into a wallet or other small space. This means that, for most of us, any time we leave the house (and take our ID with us), we could be taking you with us.

As a board member, that appeals to me. I don't have to remember to slip a brochure into my files when I'm meeting a peer on another topic. I don't have to scribble your website URL or phone number on whatever scrap of paper the county commissioner I run into on the street has on hand. I can reach into my purse, pull out a professionally printed business card and hand it to him/her.

Yes, I know board members can be a transient bunch. Having a customized card with my name on it is lovely, but not essential. Give me one with the nonprofit's key contact information: phone, street address, website, social media links, etc. If you want to get fancy, include a QR code and increase the chance the recipient will store your details in whatever contact system he/she uses.

It's not the most earth-shaking among the practical tips I'm sharing in this year of generative board leadership, but it's one that can make expanding your network of supporters just a little bit easier for members.

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