...And just as you begin to learn their style, in comes a new set of board members and they may not always understand their role as a decision body.
As an Executive Director of a Non-profit, you’ve got board members that have volunteered with the hopes of making a change. But for all their good intentions, many of them are ill-prepared to make the decisions necessary for the changes they envisioned. I can speak from experience. As a former board director and later an Executive Director myself, I’ve had to deal with board members who didn’t understand the role of the board. Many wanted to micromanage everything while others didn’t seem to think their role as a board member even mattered.
It felt at sometimes like you’d literally have to jump on the hood of their car to get their attention! Most didn’t realize the weight that their decisions had on the entire organization. It can be incredibly frustrating dealing with board members like these.
And can I get really frank with you?
I know what it’s like to be an Executive Director dealing with either end of a board that just doesn’t get what their role is or how they’re supposed interact with you as their Chief Staff Officer.
And you know what? I was even fired once over an issue of governance with one of the boards I was working with!
Take it from me, you can learn what I've learned to avoid and the secret to quietly nudging your board towards a higher standard of performance.
I understand what it is to deal with micromanagers, or on the flip side, unprepared and untrained board members.
Well, you could fork out thousands of dollars for a weekend training retreat or bring in facilitators to train your board.
However, what if there was an economical way for your board to become better at governance and become a stronger decision body all while the board believing they lead the process, to begin with?
One of the best ways to learn, is often from your peers. And, again take it from me...after interviewing hundreds of board directors all over many would prefer to check their knowledge against what other board members are experiencing.Don't get me wrong! Most board members trust their Executive Director (President, CEO, etc.) BUT if given the choice, they'd prefer to come to their own conclusions independent of their Chief Staff Officer.
Now, if you’re a member of your own professional association - be it the American Society of Association Executives, the Canadian Society of Association Executives, or whatever professional association that applies in your case, you know that one of the best ways of learning occurs when you can network and learn from your colleagues
The same applies for board directors of nonprofits, associations, foundations, and charities. They too benefit enormously and develop professionally as volunteer leaders from associating with board members of organizations they might never otherwise meet.
Your board members can readily access the community forum, attend roundtable discussions just for nonprofit board directors to learn from their peers and repeatedly go back for a variety or resources on how to be a better board director when they’re looking for answers they might have.
Now, normally membership is $99/yr per person but for just $495/ yr, the whole of your board can gain access to an annual membership that is transferable anytime someone new joins the board.
This allows you to properly train board members and give them access to a growing library of research and white papers that deals with many challenges your board might face.
They also can educate themselves about governance, learn about the top questions they should ask themselves before taking on a change, and most importantly learn how to be a better advisory board and employer to YOU.
Look, take it from me. Most board directors value your input but my studies of hundreds of board directors have found that if given the choice, they would prefer to feel like they’re coming to their own conclusions.
Most trust their Executive Director but they have a sneaking suspicion that they don’t feel they have all the tools, connections or enough of an independent sounding board to provide an independent voice to appropriately guide the organization or give the right amount of guidance to the Executive Director WITHOUT overstepping their bounds.
So, what’s it going to be? Face a board that out of ignorance, feels its role is to micromanage every aspect of what you do or on the other hand, frustrate your already busy schedule with trying to tell them what their role is?
(and let me tell you, that doesn’t always work out well for you as an Executive Director, CEO or paid President!)
Maybe as an option, you can try to encourage your board to invest thousands of dollars for a one-time training facilitator…assuming they will see the value in this only to later have much of the training forgotten OR having a need to invest the same amount again for a new round of board members?
OR instead, provide your board with yearly access to a sounding board of board members with the answers your board members are seeking out for themselves, allowing them to grow in their confidence as a board director?
Get access now for just $495/ yr
OR start a free 30-day trial to see if it is right for you and your board and at the end of the trial, pay $575 to continue access.
Membership is transferable from those leaving the board to new ones coming in!
Have them stay connected and continue learning with the Society of Non-Profit Board Directors.
Template policies & white papers
We gather and make available for nonprofit boards everywhere the latest in best practices in board governance policies as well as research on everything from fundraising, strategy and much more.
Online community, posted training videos and resources
Your board is made up of busy professionals. Membership in the Society gives them access to resources that will make them better board members all from the freedom of their home or office.
Regular roundtable discussions
These aren't webinars with a "talking head" trying to see something at the end. They are frank virtual discussions facilitated by the most leading experts in board excellence. Here, your board can bounce ideas off other board members and the leading voices in what makes for an effective nonprofit organization.