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What are Good Board Members?

  • Board Members are hard to find

  • Sometimes it good to lose a few too

These are keen observations based, sadly, on real experiences.

A Good Board Member:

  • Attends most meetings, not just press events - This indicates interest in actually helping, not just using the board to make the resume look good. If the photographer knows your board member prefers shots from either the left or right side, they may be seeking to use the organization for publicity.

  • Arrives on time for meetings without golf clubs - Arriving on time means they take the role seriously; leaving the clubs behind will let them concentrate on work. Cleaning clubs during the meeting could be viewed as disrespectful.

  • Insists that meetings end as scheduled but not before they start - A valuable board members is a busy board member and timelines are essential. However, making a motion to cancel the meeting as it opens is viewed negatively.

  • Provides direct contact information not just a fax number - This includes office, home and cell phone numbers. You would be amazed at how hard it is to explain things exclusively by fax.

  • Avoids such conflicts of interest as a nonprofit family business- Today nonprofits need to be more cautious about conflicts of interest or even the appearance of one. If your lawyer, printer, and landlord are on the board and have the same last name as the executive director, there could be a conflict.

  • Will attend, but not become, a special event - The board represents the organization and if they don't attend special events, they send a negative message. If they are arrested for fighting during the event, that also sends a negative message.

  • Questions strategic direction, but not daily operations - Boards should not micro-manage. They choose the executive director, not the type of pens to use. A board member should also avoid arriving before staff to report on who was late, how long staff took for lunch and what they were wearing. Some call this stalking.

  • Does not need to be asked before donating - Giving is important and the board sets the example. There are many ways to give including through a life-insurance policy. Pledging a $100,000 gift through a life insurance policy that can only be written after the board member loses 100lbs is hard to count toward a capital campaign, although the effort to loose weight is admirable.

Fundraising & Nonprofit Articles

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Capital Campaign Fundraising
Internet Fundraising
Annual Fundraising Campaigns
Charity Registration
Foundation Grant Proposal
e-Campaigns for Fundraising
Domain Names for Nonprofits
10 Tips for Donating Money
Tax Deduction is Not Philanthropy
What is a Nonprofit Organization?
Starting a Nonprofit Charity
10 Nonprofit Start-up Mistakes
Nonprofit Leadership
Nonprofit Board of Directors
Choosing Board Members
Nonprofit Planning
Nonprofit Evaluation
Nonprofit Changes
Nonprofit Community Relations
Do-Not-Call Lists & Charities
Unrelated Business Income
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