Goal: Effective Board Member Motivation

As the New Year approaches, our thoughts naturally turn to making resolutions and goals for the year ahead. The same is true for nonprofit organizations. However, with a month left in the current year, there’s still plenty of time to make a final push to meet current year-end goals.

If you are a chairperson of a board who is looking for ways to improve board member motivation for an end-of-year fundraising drive, this article can help. These tips are also helpful for any major goal deadline with your board of directors. Here are some ideas and guidelines to help maximize the time left.

Set Reachable Goals

Start by setting some motivating but realistic goals for the final quarter of the year, or your fundraising deadline. This will likely include a target financial goal as well as all of the steps and activities that will be required to achieve this goal. Use past years’ performances and the current performance of similar organizations to help you create your goals. Consider creating:

  • Organization goals: overall mission or fundraising goals
  • Department goals: metrics for each department to reach for
  • Individual goals: what is needed from each person to accomplish the goal

RELATED: How to Raise Small Donations for Big Fundraising

Gather Board Member Input

Hold a board meeting to gather the thoughts and ideas of your team. This will enhance the mission ahead as well as inspire board member motivation. They are more likely to feel energized and motivated about a project or agenda they helped to create. You can also use the Boardable voting and polling feature to help gather information, ideas and insights between meetings.

Present the Mission Clearly

Once the final goals and components have been crafted and finalized, have another meeting with board members to present the comprehensive project and its goals to them. Show the board members how achieving the goal will impact the organization’s mission and overall vision; doing so can be highly effective for board member motivation.

Delegate Tasks

Divide the goals up reasonably in terms of phases as well as tasks for individual board members. If each individual feels they have been given a fair and manageable assignment toward the end goal, they’re more likely to feel motivated and energized about the endeavor ahead.

Create a Friendly, Fun Competition

Consider creating a “brag board,” game or other “competition” element to the organization’s goals for all participants. This is an excellent way to chart progress while also motivating team members to stay on course. It will bring a spirit of fun to the year-end activities and ensure the project and mission will stay on track going forward.

board member motivation

Board Member Motivation Annual Appraisal

Meet with individual board members to give them feedback on their performance and collaboration with the group throughout the past year. Keep this meeting light and inspirational to help foster a positive attitude both for the year-end push and the upcoming year ahead.

RELATED: The Perfect Nonprofit Corporate Sponsor

Ask For Feedback

After providing board members with feedback, ask them for feedback as well. Keep your inquiry broad and allow them to share what’s been on their mind about the organization, procedures, progress, fellow board members, etc. Doing so ensures that all participants feel heard and respected. This will energize them for both year-end goals and the upcoming year.

Say Thank You

Don’t forget to take time to express gratitude and appreciation for your employees. A sincere, heartfelt thanks will strengthen board member motivation to perform even better in the coming weeks, as well as going forward.


Find fun ways to celebrate the achievement of your goal as well as each milestone along the way. December is the holiday season to begin with, making it a naturally fun and festive time. Allow this holiday spirit to permeate your goal setting

While the New Year is just around the corner, there’s still plenty of time to make progress as the current year comes to a close. Use these tips and ideas to improve board member motivation and push your organization to exceed all expectations in the final stretch.

Interested in how to make your board of directors more productive through the effective use of technology? Boardable is a software platform that centralizes all communication between you and your board. Find the best meeting times, securely store all of your documents, archive discussion threads and more—all in one place. Click below to schedule a demo with a member of our Boardable team.

Schedule My Demo


Get started now with a free month.