Friday, April 1, 2016

Governance toolbox: Purposeful, active, collegial nonprofit board member involvement

Active, purposeful, collegial board involvement seems to be a thread among the resources that stuck out for me today.

Are you challenging your board? -- What I appreciate most about Susan Detwiler's latest post is its emphasis on laying the groundwork for rich governance interactions and contributions from the moment you begin recruiting new members. Your expectations for active participation and engaged leadership should not be surprises after they say yes. Supporting new members - and all members - in reaching the high bar set for them increases your potential for them to actually provide the engaged leadership that you need.

10 ways board members can fundraise WITHOUT asking for money -- Yes, we all know someone must be willing to ask. But lowering that sky-high bar (at least in their minds) can help board members find a place in the process. I've shared similar lists before. This one feels different in that while a couple are pretty easy (e.g., make your own gift), you'll find some healthy stretches within.

7 ways to ruin board engagement -- I shared this one on the blog Facebook page this week, acknowledging the "101" nature of the activities described. But, as I acknowledged in that other setting, sometimes we need these basic reminders - especially when it comes to human-nature kinds of behaviors that can wreak invisible havoc until an interpersonal crisis emerges. It may truly be too basic and not at all germane to your own board culture, but it felt worthy of sharing just in case.

Alarmists, disruptors, weasels, and 9 other annoying types of people in nonprofit -- Not all of these personalities rear their ugly heads in boardrooms, and they certainly aren't exclusive to nonprofit settings. But let's just say several of these rang familiar (and I've probably been guilty of one or two at some point in my board life). You won't find deep discussion of ways to manage these disruptive types; but simply making them visible, and providing opportunities to discuss what is and is not productive interaction in our board work, can be valuable. Oh, and you may find some of the descriptions pretty funny - or frightening if you've worked with them in real life.

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