Reasonable Expectations Make for a Satisfied Board

Board members volunteer more than just their time to the organizations they serve. They spread the mission, raise funds, share strategy expertise and more. If members are overwhelmed, frustrations are sure to arise that affect satisfaction and productivity. 

Expectations and member satisfaction have a strong correlation. The 2015 Board Engagement Report provides tips to help you establish reasonable expectations. 

Meeting Expectations

Board meetings are held to discuss strategy, and vote on matters such as budgets, scheduling and funding. These meetings are also a place for members to bond and establish healthy relationships with one another.

According to the report, board meetings were on average two hours long, and held six to ten times a year. Eighty-five percent of respondents believe that the number of meetings they are expected to attend is reasonable. In fact, three-fourths of respondents attended between 76% and 100% of meetings in the past year.

It’s clear that members will put forth their best efforts and attend if their time is valued. Increase satisfaction and show your appreciation by sticking to a monthly or bi-monthly schedule, using agenda templates to maximize the time invested and gathering feedback. When members get to share their thoughts on meeting format, agenda items, management methods and performance, it increases their happiness.

Time Expectations

Outside of meetings, board members volunteer their spare time planning events, attending events and fundraising, among other activities. 

Disorganized board processes and information increase the time it takes to complete simple tasks related to these pursuits. To make time expectations more realistic, your board needs timely, organized communication. 

In the report, 84% of respondents agree that their organization makes it easy to communicate with one another. And when archived meeting minutes, organizational data and other resources are easily accessible, board member satisfaction increases by almost 30%.

How can your board reach communication nirvana? Simplify operations, communication and documentation with minimal effort through a board portal.

Financial Commitment

Board members are typically expected to raise a minimum amount of funds each quarter and/or contribute their own money to different initiatives. The average board has a minimum giving requirement of $150 per year.

Realistic contribution amounts will vary based on the income levels and backgrounds of your board members. However, boards should clearly define what’s expected financially of their members before asking them to make a commitment. This way, members know what they are going to spend and can budget for it, or bow out if needed. 

To learn more about how you can increase board member engagement and define appropriate expectations, download a free copy of our report: The 2015 Board Engagement Report.

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