Friday, June 19, 2015

Governance toolbox: Nonprofit board boundary-spanning edition

Building board members' confidence and capacity in their outreach responsibilities is one of those evergreen topics that always has a place on this blog - and in the weekly governance toolbox. But I noticed a minor, informal boundary-spanning theme in the most recent resources bookmarked, making it an appropriate focus this week.

Dan Pink on persuading with the right questions -- Valeria Maltoni's post, which contains Pink's YouTube video on the title topic, initially may seem like a bit of a stretch to connect to nonprofit boards' ambassador role. But the ultimate message - persuasion by connecting to the other's personal interests - is an important one. Valeria closes the post with this quote: "Your job as motivator and persuader is to reset the context and surface people's own reasons for doing something." Board members (and anyone else, for that matter) expand their potential success in bringing others to the important work of their nonprofits' missions when they can help prospects find the link between what matters most to them and what matters most to the organizations seeking their support.

Training board members as brand champions on social and beyond --  Rachel Calderon's excellent, actionable new post continues the theme begun by Maltoni. In Rachel's case, she encourages us to help board members make the connections - to their personal passions, to the passions of others, to the work and communication goals of the nonprofit they govern. Beyond the inevitable good feelings and increased commitment that the process described must have generated, the board emerged with something even more important: stronger sense of how to communicate the foundation's story to others.

Seven ways board members can raise awareness and money for your organization --  Talk about "tools!" My friend, Alison Rapping, offers exactly what the headline promises: seven specific ways that board members can contribute to expanded community outreach. They range from the simple and potentially obvious - like writing thank you notes - to the fairly novel - like "mission moment tours" (click on the link to discover what that involves). Every board member will find at least one action that they will feel comfortable taking on right now. They also will see one or more recommendations that may be a reasonable stretch they would be willing to take for you.


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