nonprofit insights: building a future-friendly nonprofit board

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Your board plays a critical role in overseeing your organization's mission, finances and strategic direction. So it's equally critical that these board members are supportive of the changes in tools and practices necessary to help your organization stay relevant and viable in today's rapidly changing world. For the March 2014 Nonprofit Insights webinar hosted by VolunteerMatch focused on how to cultivate, engage and retain great board members that are "future-friendly." Jenifer Holland, Director of Consulting at BoardSource, shared best practices and strategies for finding and engaging the best board members for your organization. We were also joined by Shayla Price, Executive Director for the National Search Dog Alliance, who shared her first-hand experience working with boards from the nonprofit side, as well as serving as a board member herself. Wondering how to build a board that will support your organization as it moves forward into the future? This webinar will provide ideas and strategies so you'll never need to "fight" your board for change again.


  • 1.Building a Future-Friendly Nonprofit Board #vmlearn March 19, 2014

2. Meet Our Speakers 2 #vmlearn Jenifer Holland Director of Consulting BoardSource @jlgagerholland @BoardSource Shayla Price Executive Director National Search Dog Alliance @shaylaprice 3. 3 Building a Future-Friendly Nonprofit Board Jenifer Holland, Director of Consulting 2014. Not to be reproduced or distributed without express permission from BoardSource. #vmlearn 4. 4 About BoardSource Advances the public good by building exceptional nonprofit boards and inspiring board service Supports and promotes excellence in nonprofit board service Is the premier source of cutting-edge thinking and resources related to boards Engages and develops the next generation of board leaders 2013 BoardSource #vmlearn 5. 5 Before Identify board needs Cultivate & Recruit On Board Orient Involve & Educate Over Time Evaluate, Rotate & Celebrate! Identify Cultivate Recruit Orient Involve Educate Evaluate Rotate Celebrate! Context:The Board Building Cycle #vmlearn 6. 6 Identify Step: Whose Job is It? Nominating Committee Short-term Narrow focus Elections Officers Self-contained Governance Committee Ongoing Holistic focus Composition Policies and Practices Involves others Sample committees that have responsibility for identifying board candidates #vmlearn 7. 7 Nominating Committee Governance Committee Nominating Short-term Narrow focus Elections Officers Self-contained Governance Ongoing Holistic focus Composition Practices Involves others Evolution of Board-Related Committees Board Development Committee Board Development Ongoing Broader focus than Nominating #vmlearn 8. 8 Poll Does your board have a: Nominating committee Governance committee Nominating and governance combined Other N/A or dont know #vmlearn 9. 9 IdentifyYour Boards Needs Think Strategically: What skills and talents does your organization need to drive its mission forward and to advance key strategies over the next 2, 5 and 10 years? Identify Gaps: Which of those skills and talents are currently represented on your board, and which ones are missing? Be Specific: How would you describe the skills, expertise, and personal attributes of the ideal candidate? #vmlearn 10. 10 Tool: Board Matrix (exerpt) 1 2 3 4 5 6 A B C D E F Areas of Expertise Marketing Program focus Strategy Technology Financial Fundraising Investments Legal Fundraising Abilities Personal financial giving Access to corporate & philanthropic connections Access to individuals with gift potential Ability to support special events Which Best Describes You: Bridge builder Leader/Strategist Visionary Worker bee Current Members Prospective Members 11. 11 What does your board need? Good Board Members Typically Possess An Ability to: listen, analyze, think clearly and creatively, work well with individual people and groups A Willingness to: prepare for and attend board and committee meetings, ask questions, take responsibility and follow through on a given assignment, contribute personal; financial resources in a generous way according to circumstances, open doors in the community, evaluate oneself; and develop certain skills if they dont already have them #vmlearn 12. 12 Step 1: IDENTIFY Board Needs Skills, knowledge, perspectives, and connections, etc., needed to implement strategic plan. Board needs assessment What expertise do you have? What is missing? Identify sources of board members with the desired characteristics. #vmlearn 13. 13 Step 2: CULTIVATE Potential Leaders Ask current board members and others to suggest potential candidates with needed characteristics. Find ways to connect with those candidates. Get them interested in your chapter, and keep them informed of your programs. #vmlearn 14. 14 Step 3: RECRUIT Prospects Describe why a prospective board member is wanted and needed. Explain expectations and responsibilities of board members, and dont minimize requirements. Invite questions, elicit their interest, and find out of if they would be prepared to serve. Recruit a diverse board. #vmlearn 15. 15 Step 7: EVALUATE Board Evaluate the board as a whole, as well as individual board members. Examine how the board and chief executive work as a team. Engage the board in assessing its own performance. Identify ways in which to improve. Encourage individual self-assessment. 16. 16 Identify gaps between expected and actual performance Ensure that all board members have a shared understanding of the boards roles and responsibilities Provide a context for discussing opportunities to strengthen the board Model accountability and enhance credibility for the organization among staff, volunteers, donors, and other constituencies Board Self-Assessment 2014 BoardSource #vmlearn 17. 17 BSA data sets the stage for board development plan 0 = Poor , 1 = Fair , 2 = OK, 3 = Good, 4 = Excellent #vmlearn 18. 18 How are Assessment Results Used? 2014 BoardSource DATA seldom leads to action if the numbers arent explained INFORMATION exchanged between you and your BoardSource team gives data meaning KNOWLEDGE is created when experience and context is blended with information WISDOM occurs when knowledge is applied D= Data E= Expertise C= Coaching K= Knowledge #vmlearn 19. + Cultivating Future-Friendly Boards Identifying Board Prospects Engaging Board Members Retaining Board Members #vmlearn 20. + Identifying Board Prospects Past Experiences #vmlearn 21. + Identifying Board Prospects Soft Skills #vmlearn 22. + Poll #vmlearn Do you ask board prospects about industry trends in their professions? 23. + Identifying Board Prospects Knowledge of Industry Trends Books, Blogs Connect the Dots Areas of Interest #vmlearn 24. + Identifying Board Prospects Individual Development Plan Goals Interconnection Time Investment #vmlearn 25. + Engaging Board Members 26. + Engaging Board Members Brainstorming Prompts Wouldnt it be great if If I had total control, I Because we have excess resources, we can #vmlearn 27. + Engaging Board Members Cheerleaders Guest Speakers Attendance Door Prizes #vmlearn 28. + Question #vmlearn How do you currently motivate your board members? 29. + Engaging Board Members Cross Sector Collaboration #vmlearn 30. + Engaging Board Members Personal Commitments I will accomplish X before the next meeting. Visuals Reminders #vmlearn 31. + Retaining Board Members 32. + Poll How often do you ask for feedback from your board members? #vmlearn 33. + Retaining Board Members Ask for Feedback SurveyMonkey Updates Improvements #vmlearn 34. + Retaining Board Members Create a Valued Culture Norms Acknowledgements Implementation of Ideas #vmlearn 35. + Retaining Board Members Support Members Goals Speaking Opportunities Workshops/Seminars Recommendations #vmlearn 36. + Retaining Board Members Show Appreciation Honor Their Service Highlight Achievements Say Thank you #vmlearn 37. Questions? 37 #vmlearn Jenifer Holland Director of Consulting BoardSource @jlgagerholland @BoardSource Shayla Price Executive Director National Search Dog Alliance @shaylaprice 38. Next Webinar: How Nonprofit Data and Volunteers Can Save the World #vmlearn April 8, 2014


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