Keep Them Engaged; Here are Ten Suggestions

impact intentional practices roles and responsibilities Apr 24, 2023
Keep Them Engaged; Here are Ten Suggestions


Board members contribute best when they are engaged, Duh.


So why do we give such little attention to board engagement?


One of our mantras at Better Boards. Better Communities. is that when everyone is responsible, no one is responsible. So for the sake of argument, this responsibility falls to the board chair (and may be delegated to an individual (vice-chair, e.g.) or committee chair. But not the CEO!


Here are a few ideas to engage your board members:


Host regular board meetings: Regular meetings keep board members engaged and informed when the agendas and facilitation are information and engaging. Pros: Keeps everyone updated on organizational activities. Cons: Meetings can be time-consuming and may not be effective if there is no clear agenda.


Provide training and development opportunities: Offering training sessions to board members can help them stay up-to-date on the latest trends and best practices in the sector. Pros: Improves board member knowledge and expertise. Cons: Training sessions can be time-consuming and expensive. For sector knowledge, have the Chief Executive Officer provide short sessions on the agenda. For governance knowledge, of course, look to Better Boards. Better Communities. courses and resources.


Conduct board member assessments: Regular assessments can help board members understand their strengths and weaknesses, and how they can contribute more effectively to the organization. Pros: Helps board members improve their performance. Cons: Assessments can be threatening.

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Create a mentorship program: Pairing new board members with experienced members can help them learn more about the organization and their role. Pros: Improves board member knowledge and engagement. Cons: Mentorship requires time and resources.


Organize social events: Hosting social events, such as dinners or team-building activities, can help board members build relationships and increase engagement. Pros: Improves board member relationships and engagement. Cons: Social events can be expensive and beyond the expectations of some board members..


Establish committee work: Creating committees can help board members focus on specific areas of interest or expertise. Pros: Improves board member engagement and allows for more focused work. Cons: Committees can become siloed and may not work together effectively.


Involve board members in fundraising: Encouraging board members to participate in fundraising efforts can help them better understand the organization's needs and goals. Pros: Improves board member understanding and engagement. Cons: Not all board members may be comfortable with fundraising.


Provide regular updates and reports: Regular updates and reports can help board members stay informed about the organization's activities and progress towards goals. Pros: Keeps everyone informed and engaged. Cons: Reports can be time-consuming to create and one-way communication.


Encourage board member outreach and networking: Encouraging board members to reach out to their networks can help the organization expand its reach and find new opportunities. Pros: Improves board member engagement and can lead to new opportunities. Cons: Not all board members may be comfortable with outreach and may not have community connections.


Recognize and appreciate board members: Recognizing board members' contributions and showing appreciation can help keep them engaged and motivated. Pros: Improves board member engagement and morale. Cons: Appreciation efforts can be time-consuming and alienating for those not recognized.


Each of these ideas has its own set of pros and cons, and the best approach will depend on the organization's specific needs and goals. By considering each option carefully, not-for-profit board chairs can choose the tactics that will work best for their organization to keep board members engaged and motivated.


What are your main “pain points” dealing with board development?

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.



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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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