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Your Top 7 Board Development & Engagement Tips

Why is this important?
An engaged board is an essential component of a thriving and impactful mission-driven organization. Consider incorporating some of the tactics below into the Board Development part of your strategic plan — this way you can map out what to tackle near-term vs. Y2 or Y3.

TIP #1: Reflect on Your Overall Strategic Goals

Your board of directors should be in alignment with your organization’s strategic goals. Consider a board matrix exercise to identify gaps in skills and representation in order to recruit smarter not harder.

TIP #2: Assess Your Board’s Strengths & Weaknesses

Strategic approaches include: 1) Conduct a Board Member Self-Assessment, 2) Have a board-specific SWOT Analysis discussion, and 3) Conduct a Board Evaluation

TIP #3: Clearly Communicate Expectations

Ensure you have a Roles & Responsibilities document that is reviewed and referenced regularly. This can be a checklist or an agreement. Introduce this during onboarding and store it in a central location.

TIP #4: Reconnect Members to Your Mission

Strengthen your “mission moments” muscle memory: 1) Add a 5-minute “Mission Moment” standing agenda item, 2) Invite your board members in regularly to see your impact first-hand, 3) Share your impact story in a visually appealing way.

Tip #5: Reconnect Members to Each Other

People show up for teammates. Build camaraderie by exploring a “board buddy” tactic, setting up board triads, or holding a half-day retreat.

Tip #6: Offer Board Training

Whether it’s a free webinar or an in-person session, board members need to know their legal duties.

Tip #7: Use a Board Portal

Make it easy for your members to access information 24/7 and be prepared for meetings. Save administrative time and eliminate hundreds of unnecessary emails.

By: Christine Deska, President & Co-founder, BellesBoard & Nonprofit Sector Strategies


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