This question is one of the most often asked ones at ONEplace—by executive directors and board leaders, alike. The angst comes through various sub-questions such as: How can we get our Board members to show up to meetings? Show up prepared? Donate to the Annual Campaign? Help raise funds? Take leadership roles? These and other engagement issues…or lack of engagement issues…affect the functioning and outcomes of many organizations.
A new article by Gail Perry, MBA, CFRE, arrived via GuideStar that speaks directly to one of the underlying causes of disengagement: board members often don’t know ‘what your organization is trying to accomplish and what their role is in making that happen.’
“Engagement is inspiring passion in someone so they will want to take action.”
(J. Asker, A. Smith in The Dragonfly Effect)
To inspire passion and, therefore, action: clearly define annual goals for the organization and expectations for board members’ actions toward those goals. A plan gives board members something to get their hands around and strive for.
Perry offers a four-part plan with specific, quantifiable sub-steps:
- Be sure your board members know what you are aiming to accomplish this year.
- Be sure they know what the impact will be if you can make your plan happen.
- Be sure every board member knows what his or her job is to make the plan happen.
- Keep in close touch with your board members each week or month, letting them know of your success.
Read Gail Perry’s entire article and try these strategies to get your board engaged and fired-up!
Keeping Your Board Engaged for Your Cause