During the week of January 11 – 14, the BoardMax team attended the Ronald McDonald House Leadership Meeting, which featured topics on nurturing board member talent, engagement and recruitment.
One key theme throughout was how to engage board members beyond fundraising events, such as galas and golf outings.
To expand upon what was discussed during the conference, I connected with our internal experts to outline additional tips to engage and recruit board members beyond nonprofit events.
Focus on Board Members’ Strengths
Set your board members up for success by using their strongest assets. For example, if a board member is particularly interested in budgeting and financing, put him or her in charge of financial oversight. For those especially good at explaining your organization’s mission, recruit them to lead tours of your facility or serve as media spokespeople.
The possibilities are endless. Think about roles currently performed by staff or projects you wish you could launch if the resources existed, and compare against your board’s natural tendencies. If you appropriately align board members with their strongpoints, they will be more engaged. This can lead to tremendous results for your organization.
Use Meetings to Re-invigorate the Mission
Make meetings worthwhile by encouraging participation, creativity and engagement.
Encourage board members to offer up ideas. This helps them feel like they are personally contributing to your nonprofit’s success. Or use the time to practice team-building exercises, such as sharing success stories or mission moments.
Trust Their Recommendations
Events aren’t the only way to find potential board member candidates. What better way to find qualified board members than by vetting internal networks and connections? Seek referrals from current or past board members. By reaching out to board members personally for recommendations, you can show you value and appreciate their opinions.
Foster Inter-Board Relationships
Establish activities that encourage board members to get to know each other and your staff better, or experience your organization in a new way. This will help them feel more connected and like “insiders.” Consider activities like:
- Host an annual retreat to allow board members to bond with each other, and connect on a deeper level with your organization’s mission and values.
- Provide one-on-one time with your best staff or CEO to provide a different perspective of the organization.
- Assign mentors to new board members to reinvigorate long-term members and educate beginners.
- Hold periodic social gatherings that allow board members to build a solid culture and have some fun.
See how Ronald McDonald House of Cleveland streamlined board efficiency by downloading our case study, “BoardMax Case Study: Ronald McDonald House of Cleveland.”
Image Source: Geralt