According to Nonprofit Quarterly, performance problems are one of the biggest stumbling blocks for both nonprofit and for-profit boards. Dysfunctional group dynamics, disengagement with the board’s purpose and function, and (perhaps most importantly) a lack of understanding of each member’s specific roles (and their value to the board as a whole) all contribute to lackluster board performance and results.
On-boarding new nonprofit board members may seem like a time-consuming chore, especially if a new board member has served in a similar capacity for other organizations. But if you really want your board to serve in its fullest and best capacity, a little time spent training new members can yield big benefits down the line.
As a vocal advocate for your organization, you undoubtedly have lots to say when it comes to developing and executing on a new board member training plan. At the same time, you don’t want to overwhelm new board members by providing too much information, a temptation that can wind up making new members feel overburdened and unfocused instead of motivated and engaged.
Following these five simple best practices is a good start for helping your nonprofit board members understand their roles so they become powerful advocates for your mission over time:
Taking some time to properly execute a new board member training plan sets the stage for success—for the board as well as for the new board member. Plus, it can help iron out minor concerns ahead of time so your board continues to function productively to support its mission.
When on-boarding your next new member, take notes about what works—and what doesn’t—and use that information to create a comprehensive on-boarding plan you can use to make the process even simpler in the future.
To discover even more actionable advice on how to make nonprofit board member orientation more simple and effective, grab a free copy of Boardable’s comprehensive “5-Steps Guide to Onboarding New Board Members” as a downloadable ebook. Checklist included!
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