39 WAYS NONPROFITS CAN BUILD STRONG BOARDS OF DIRECTORS

A Checklist for Nonprofit CEO's and Board Chairmen

USEFUL REMINDERS

Volunteer board members like to be recognized for their charitable work ... but not only with kind words, plaques and certificates. The list below represents the major ways board members want to be "recognized." How are you doing?

RECOGNITION OF BEING THOUGHTFULLY INVITED TO SERVE

Note: Individuals should already have demonstrated interest through their time and money before becoming a candidate. A candidate's name should come from an analysis of what type of director is needed.

  1. Personal visits from CEO and/or board chairman
  2. Shown board manual: history, mission, board role, etc.
  3. Specific responsibilities/expectations are laid out
  4. Offered invitation to attend board meeting as a visitor
  5. Given sufficient time to respond to an invitation
  6. Encouraging calls/lettesr from other board members
  7. RECOGNITION OF BEING HELPED AS A NEW BOARD MEMBER

  8. Good orientation to internal structure, finances, etc.
  9. Individual time, early on, with key officers and staff
  10. Given set of minutes for last four meetings
  11. Time to get acquainted at first board meeting
  12. RECOGNITION OF BEING RESPECTED AS AN ACTIVE GROUP MEMBER

  13. Information updates from CEO between meetings
  14. Advance agendas, written recommendations, etc.
  15. Financial/other tracking data designed for a director
  16. Assignments that fit what one does well and enjoys most
  17. Never surprised by major problems; always a warning
  18. Time for personally rewarding fellowship
  19. Protection from liability as a board member
  20. Time for board to plan/initiate; not just respond
  21. RECOGNITION AS A SPECIAL INDIVIDUAL

  22. Provided stationery, directors' business cards, etc.
  23. Thanks: notes from CEO, flowers to spouse, etc.
  24. Time: lunches with CEO, dinner as couples, etc.
  25. Remembrance: cards on birthday, anniversary, etc.
  26. RECOGNITION WITHIN THE ORGANIZATION

  27. Given appropriate assignments at special events
  28. Profiles of members in newsletters, on bulletin boards
  29. Verbal commendations when deserved
  30. Awards for outstanding service
  31. Not asked to do what advisory board members might do
  32. Election as officer through serious nomination process
  33. Fair chance to say yes OR no to re-election
  34. RECOGNITION WITHIN THE ORGANIZATION'S PROFESSIONAL SECTOR

  35. News/pictures in national association publications
  36. Travel budget to attend regional/national meetings
  37. RECOGNITION IN THE GENERAL COMMUNITY

  38. Local paper news articles on board activities
  39. Ask to represent organization at major local events
  40. Paid newspaper/radio ad to thank/acknowledge board
  41. Allow board to select one scholarship recipient each
  42. RECOGNITION AT THE END OF THE TERM OF OFFICE

  43. Special gift/award upon retirement form board
  44. Invitation to stay actively involved (advisory board?)
  45. Continue quarterly written updates to former members
  46. Former member still called by CEO for advice

Can you think of other important ways to "recognize" board members? Relax ... NO ONE does all of these things. But no one who does any of them regrets the time and effort it takes to model good boardsmanship. This is the way to move organizations beyond survival ... to significance.

Which numbered items above are you willing to try? _____ _____ _____ _____

Robert C. Andringa, Ph.D., President

Creative Solutions Group

6119 East Briarwood Circle

Englewood, Colorado 80112