4 Quick Tips to Refresh & Re-energize a Stagnant Nonprofit Board
By CGC CEO Chris Hammond
Originally published on 8/9/19 by Bloomerang
It’s no secret that nonprofit boards are essential to the success of an organization. Board members serve as both volunteers and donors gifting funds to the organization and providing managerial oversight and advocacy to help the nonprofit execute its mission. But nonprofit employees can often get so caught up in their daily responsibilities that they forget to meaningfully engage with board members. Here are 4 quick tips to reconnect with your stagnant nonprofit board and bring new energy to their essential role.
1. Continual, Active Communication
The most important way to energize board members is to purposefully engage with them. Regular check ins, updates, and meetings is essential for keeping the board informed of the day-to-day activities of the organization. Consider planning a short, recurring meeting with each of your members to personally update them on accomplishments and current needs within the organization. Also, remember to reply promptly to emails or requests.
2. Build Personal Relationships
When we care about the work we do, it can become difficult to create work/life balance. However, as in any workplace, connecting one-on-one with colleagues is an important element in making people feel valued, heard, and understood. Check in with individual board members after important meetings to gauge their feelings about it. You can also ask each board member how their personal goals are aligning with the direction of the organization. Finally, sending handwritten cards on a board member’s birthday or work anniversary is a small way of showing him or her that they are a valued part of the organization.
3. Host Thank You Events or Retreats
Regardless of an individual’s profession or the industry in which they work, everyone needs the chance to step back from work and focus on self-care. Consider hosting a board retreat or another thank you event where your board members can relax and unwind. When your board returns from their retreat, the boost in morale will motivate your entire organization.
4. Public Recognition
Seek out various ways to publicly recognize your board members and introduce them to your community of supporters. Whether it’s at fundraising events, through social media posts, or in your organization’s email newsletter, acknowledging your board members and showing your appreciation for their hard work will motivate the board to continue their support.
Investing your time with board members and cultivating authentic working relationships will ultimately create a lasting impact on your organization. Use these suggestions and continue to find additional opportunities to uplift and encourage your stagnant nonprofit board. Continue to foster a positive working environment where your board can remain focused on your collective mission.