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WEBINAR REPLAY: Ask Coach Kim, Governance Expert

Does your nonprofit board struggle with how to run efficient meetings? Do you know what to include in your bylaws? Are board members confused about what their roles are? Is someone designated to take minutes at each meeting? If you’re wondering about any of these issues, you might need Coach Kim, our governance expert.

Listen to the replay of her “Ask Coach Kim” webinar

 


Note
: For a full list of questions and the appropriate time stamp where you find them addressed, please scroll to the bottom of this post. It will allow you to search questions that may apply to your board situation.

Here is a brief summary of what was discussed:

  1. Liv asks, “We are embarking on board recruitment. What is the best way to approach that? Do we recruit by skillset or do we recruit people who are passionate about the organization, and figure out skillsets later?” Kim recommends that passion for the cause is the most important criteria. However, skillsets are vital as well. She suggests going to passionate board members or high-demand skillset individuals, and ask them to suggest potential board members that have both passion and skills.
  2. Deborah asks, “Are staggered board terms always the best idea? What are other common roles of a VP besides presiding when a president cannot?” Coach Kim does recommend staggered board terms (if using board terms), so that the entire board doesn’t turnover at once. She acknowledges that some boards choose not to use board terms, as it can prematurely end a long, rewarding board member tenure. She points out that the VP is often the president-elect, but also serves as the liaison between committees and the board.
  3. Darren asks, “How to you engage individuals who have never served on a board that have something to offer, but who may not know where they should start? My organization is fairly new and has only had a developed board for one year.” Kim points out the free resources in the community to help new nonprofits, such as community foundations and United Way chapters. She also emphasizes the importance of board agreements and job descriptions for board members. Clear expectations are key.
  4. Rachel asks, “What are your suggestions for dealing with long-time board members who are unfamiliar with or unwilling to meet basic governance expectations? If all else fails, how do you persuade them to step down or into a different role?” This is a common question that Coach Kim encounters, and she suggests it is primarily a board chairperson role. The board chair needs to have an honest conversation with the board member to assess if board service is not feasible at this time, as well as to educate on the board member role.
  5. Leticia asks, “When we bring up fun activities for fundraising, EVERYONE likes the idea(s). But when it comes to practicing our mission of educating, which is more challenging, the Board doesn’t accept it as quickly.” Coach Kim feels that board education is vital, and without it, the board will feel unprepared to reach out to the community about the mission. Equipping the board with enough information will help them be more enthusiastic and comfortable with educating others about the nonprofit.

Don’t miss the next “Ask Coach Kim” webinar, April 11 at 2pm ET.

Register and submit your questions for Kim to answer live during our next webinar. Receive the replay, if you can’t attend that day.

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Here is a full list of webinar questions with time stamp:

  • Question 1 from LinkedIn – 2:38: If you have introverts on your nonprofit staff or board, what’s the best way to bring them into the mix at a group meeting? Ask them for their reaction? What is the best way to approach this?
  • Question 2 from Liv – 4:36: We are embarking on board recruitment. What is the best way to approach that?Do we recruit by skillset or do we recruit people who are passionate about the organization, and figure out skillsets later?
  • Question 3 from Liv – 6:18: What is the best way to streamline board communication?
  • Question 4 from Deborah – 8:26: Are staggered board terms always the best idea? What are other common roles of a VP besides presiding when a president cannot?
  • Question 5 from Darren – 10:10: How to you engage individuals who have never served on a board that have something to offer, but who may not know where they should start? My organization is fairly new and has only had a developed board for one year.
  • Question 6 from Jeri – 13:40: I’ve heard traditional arguments in favor of limited board member terms and generally agree. However, I have a couple of board members who work for very large companies, and while we’ve cultivated their replacements, they are still very high performing and don’t want to leave. If they roll off our board even for only a year, they will be expected to serve on another high level board and may be forever gone. What to do?
  • Question 7 from Rachel – 15:51: What are your suggestions for dealing with long-time board members who are unfamiliar with or unwilling to meet basic governance expectations? If all else fails, how do you persuade them to step down or into a different role?
  • Question 8 from anonymous – 22:36: With regard to conflict resolution: One person on our board always shoots down every idea. It’s always, “We tried that, and it didn’t work.” What do we do to stop this behavior?
  • Question 9 from anonymous – 26:05: Board-Staff Relationships: What is an appropriate relationship for nonprofit staff members to have with the board? For example, should staff members attend board meetings?
  • Question 10 from anonymous – 29:05: Should the nonprofit staff be involved with hiring a new Executive Director? How do we manage the expectations?
  • Question 11 from an Executive Director – 31:05: Board-Staff Relationships: Sometimes board members will call staff members to discuss a program or propose a new idea. Then, it comes up as a surprise to me at a board meeting, where neither the board member nor staff member told me about it. How do I handle this?
  • Question 12 from Laticia – 35:10: Board Member Interest: When we bring up fun activities for fundraising, EVERYONE likes the idea(s). But when it comes to practicing our mission of educating, which is more challenging, the Board doesn’t accept it as quickly. How might one handle this?

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