New Nonprofit Board Leadership: 3 Ways to Empower Your Board

Nonprofit board leadership has always been a bit tricky for those in charge. Board chairs are, like the other members of the board, deeply invested in the success of the nonprofit itself. Further, they appreciate the connections being on a board affords. In addition, however, nonprofit board chairs and directors are also directly responsible for the cohesiveness, effectiveness, and, eventually, results of the decisions that are made.

To this end, those that are the most impacted by these decisions should be on the lookout for new ways to empower boards to be effective and inventive. Nonprofits rely heavily on their boards for strategic decision making. Giving boards the right tools and resources to do so is half of the battle.

Nonprofit board leadership is never simple, but always important. Read these tips to understand how to support your board of directors.

Another reason board empowerment is important is competition for quality members. While it might not seem like it on the surface, finding the right men and women to serve on a nonprofit board isn’t always easy. It can take a while to find the right people for your unique organization. Once you have the right people on board, you don’t want to lose them over poor processes or petty arguments.

If you’re looking to empower your nonprofit board leadership to be more effective and to ensure the retention of your hard-won board members, here are three things to keep in mind:


Engage subject matter experts with real-world experience.

If your board is looking to become more strategic or effective in a certain area such as fundraising or volunteer recruiting, finding real-world subject matter experts to bring on board or ask for advice can be extremely helpful. For nonprofit board leadershi, networking with other board chairs or connecting with a mentor can be helpful. Sometimes all it takes is another perspective or new advice to get the creative juices flowing for board leaders.

Focus on strategic goals and proactively measure progress.

If a board is lacking a strategic director or focus, this could be because there aren’t any clear goals to keep them on a straight path. While board chairs don’t necessarily have to dictate the goals and KPIs of a nonprofit board, they are in charge of enforcing goals in the long term. Creating clearly defined goals and being transparent with nonprofit directors around these goals can help nonprofits be more focused in their decision making.  

Nonprofit board leadership must provide the tools that board members need to do their job.

Nonprofit board members need the right tools to get their jobs done. Even though a board might meet once a month or quarter, there are still critical milestones that must be met in between these meetings. There is content that needs to be shared, conversations that need to be had. Additionally, there are decisions that need to be made. Finding the right solution makes this possible and can be a huge step towards empowering your board to be effective.

Whether your board prefers a simple online board portal or a more conventional paper trail, regular updates help board members feel connected. Being in nonprofit board leadership is never easy, but with some careful planning, your board can be more effective than ever.

Want to know how your nonprofit board of directors and staff can be more productive through the use of technology? With Boardable’s board portal, you can centralize board information and communications, where everything (and everyone) is just a couple of clicks away. Click below to get started with Boardable.

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