Board Engagement Through Better Meetings - Part 2

intentional practices May 27, 2024
Board Engagement Through Better Meetings Part 2


As we said last week, many Chairs and Chief Executive Officers despair of the lack of board member engagement. Here are a few proven techniques to improve engagement, beyond meetings. (But do take advantage of our free e-book on meetings, your primary decision-making forum.)


Once again, you've got the right people on your board. Their experience and expertise are exactly what you need.

But how do you keep them engaged? How do you take advantage of their expertise, experience, perspectives and connections?


The fact is, as chair, it's your responsibility.


Keep them engaged between meetings.

Consider ways of continuing the conversation between meetings, through a Board-only e-forum or a closed group on an app like Slack. Consider short e-meetings around a single topic, between regular meetings.

Think about a (short) weekly or (between meetings) monthly newsletter. This could cover in real time what is often in an Executive Director’s monthly report – programs, service updates, events, fund development. It might also include issues to consider or questions to be prepared to answer at the next meeting.

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Form follows function. You have four unique functions which we have delineated often -- setting strategic direction on behalf of your community; developing the constrictive partnership with your Chief Executive Officer, ensuring sustainable resources to achieve your mission; and assessing and auditing programs effectiveness and finances.

So how does your committee structure reflect your primary functions? Does your member role and responsibilities make clear the obligation to serve on a committee? The Board agenda should be driven by recommendations from committee deliberations. Nothing (well, almost nothing) should be on an agenda that hasn’t been researched and vetted by a committee first. This is where the work, and engagement, take place.

Encourage volunteerism beyond the Board table. Fundraising? Outreach to their community connections? More engagement with the agency means more commitment to the organization. And more peer pressure at the Board table.

We have written often about Board engagement as it is such a critical issue for Chief Executive Officers and Chairs.


What have you tried? What worked? Where are you struggling?


What are your main “pain points” dealing with Board engagement?

What advice would be most helpful to you?
And we always assume that you are asking for a friend!


Get in touch. We’ll address your questions and concerns in an upcoming blog post.



Here's My Recommendation 

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The Board Leader Academy:

A step-by-step guide to higher performance and impact.

Our spotlight course is designed for CEOs/Executive Directors, Board Chairs, and those who are interested in leadership positions on not-for-profit, for-impact boards. Six weeks. Three brief video lessons with handouts per week (watch at your convenience) plus additional downloadable resources. 30-day money-back guarantee.

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P.S. May I ask a tiny favour? Would you mind sharing this blog with one person? I would love it. You can post the links in your Facebook Groups, LinkedIn or even send an email.

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