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Big Ideas for Your Nonprofit Board Featured

Big Ideas for Your Nonprofit Board Mika Baumeister

When starting and operating a nonprofit, a lot is at stake. As a leader of a nonprofit, the activities involve trying to raise awareness for issues that do not get the proper attention. Furthermore, any nonprofit leader has an intention to make the world better through the provision of services to people in need. An individual cannot achieve this. Rather, it requires collaboration with employees, communities and other parties whose work is to organize nonprofits and ensure they are well run.

This is where a nonprofit board becomes necessary. A nonprofit board is responsible for critical decisions that can build or damage a charity. In addition to guiding decisions being made, board members are also responsible for ensuring your nonprofits adhere to internal guidelines, laws and mission statements. Here are some big ideas for your nonprofit board as you seek to ensure you attain all your objectives.

  1. Build an investment of board members in your charity from the start

Leaders within an organization must do two critical things during the orientation of the new members of the board. The first is to briefly remind them about the inspiring work the nonprofit is doing. The second thing is to get their input on the work that the nonprofit is doing. For instance, you need to share the organization’s strategic priorities with the new members of the board to allow them to brainstorm in small groups. This will allow them to contribute to the strategic priorities accordingly. Remind the new members about your mission, vision and what drives your desire to serve. Doing this will keep you and the new board members on one page while also ensuring you achieve what you want.

  1. Understand the strengths and weaknesses of the new board members

Everybody has weaknesses and strengths as well as interests and different perspectives. This is the same case with new board members. As a leader of a nonprofit, it is good when you understand each new board member and what they bring to the table. The more you know about them, the better you will understand the roles they can play in your organization and the departments that they suit.

To achieve this, begin by assessing each board member regarding how they work and their preferred style of work. You can, for example, do a quiz to help you determine the participation style of the new members. The quiz will help the new board members understand how each one works and take advantage of the diverse gifts that each member brings. Take time to review the participation styles of each board member and consider how they will work together moving forward. This is the right opportunity to model the commitment to diversity and inclusion by acknowledging the ways.

  1. Understand the diverse styles of processing information

There are various styles of processing information. With this diversity, some of the new board members may want to understand every detail of their work. Some prefer to learn through a review of materials. On the other hand, other employees like sharing information with others while some prefer written reports. While others may prefer focusing on financials first, others like it when financials come last.

As you design your strategy, begin by trying to strike a balance. Provide all the necessary materials in advance. The materials can be referenced during the orientation of the new members and for review. While financial information and financial learning crucial are critical because they ease serving on board. As a way of improving learning among all members of a nonprofit, share budgets and encourage those with financial orientation to teaching others how documents can be interpreted.

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Scott Koegler

Scott Koegler is Executive Editor for PMG360. He is a technology writer and editor with 20+ years experience delivering high value content to readers and publishers. 

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