Your board provides a variety of services for your nonprofit organization, but if they are not fully engaged and involved, you are missing out. You’ve chosen a dynamic mix of board members for their skills, experience and connections. Get the most from their involvement by boosting engagement. An engaged board is more connected, more aware and more likely to think of your organization even when a meeting is not looming on the calendar. Consider the following ideas to boost board member engagement in 2019. Both your organization and your board members get more out of the experience when you are in tune throughout the year.
You may have a stunning board room or even want to rent a location to make sure your members are comfortable. However, help the board truly feel like part of the team. by hosting your board meeting on site, where your actual recipients or clients are. When they are on-site and see the work that they are supporting, they are more likely to be engaged and make a difference. Even if you can only do a single meeting a year at your facility, strengthen the connection through making the effort to let the board see your day to day operations.
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Individual tours, visits to your community or to your facility, and even email updates help keep your board member engagement healthy. They will feel more motivated to help and more engaged if they see the results of what you do. This especially includes the works in process. Simply meeting your team and touring your facility is a powerful motivator and forges a lasting connection that will help both you and your board in the year ahead.
Your annual volunteer lunch, a kickoff meeting for a new campaign, and even your big Black Friday food drive are all opportunities for connection. Make your board members are aware of events and invite them. In many cases, they may simply not hear about an event until it is too late to attend. For board members with local businesses or positions, appearing at local events is a wonderful way to network and connect with the community. Most would love the chance to do so. You’ll gain more engagement when a board member or two works alongside your volunteers and team at a local event.
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Board members guide your brand, but they are not mind readers. If you need a specific connection, recommendation, or even an organizational need, tell them. They can’t help if they are not aware of needs. Further, they may even feel left out if they see a food drive, cold weather gear drive, or other initiative if they were unaware of an event and see it in the paper.
Make sure your board can easily access your organization’s calendar and current needs. Send them a copy of your newsletter and an update from your team each month. Make it easy for them to be involved by having events and important details posted clearly, and sending them a roundup of coming events.
You share pictures of your adoptable pets, the school supplies you collected for the community and even your volunteers at work. Make sure you are sharing good news about your board members too. Poll them about social media preferences, and tag those who are present on Facebook or Instagram, thanking them for their help. For those who are less tech savvy, a mention in your newsletter or on your bulletin board at work is another way to say thanks.
Add some engagement touch points to your schedule each month in 2019 and you’ll see your connection with your board members naturally improve. When your board is connected and engaged, everybody gets more from the relationship.
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