When you are putting together your Board for the first time, it’s important to identify Board Members that can engage in at least ONE of these things, TWO are better!
Board Members need to bring their experience, their passion and their skills to the board table. They will be called upon to offer insight, ask questions, and make decisions to ensure that the organization is moving in the right direction.
Board Members need to be willing to engage with the organization. A Board Member that only knows the organization from the board table, won’t have a full understanding of the full impact of the organization. Board Members should be involved. They need to see what’s going on, engage with staff, visit work sights, visit the office, volunteer to serve. The more involved they are, the more engaged they’ll be as Board Members.
Board Members don’t have to be wealthy to sit on a board, but naturally, one of the responsibilities of the board is to ensure the financial sustainability of the organization. Board Members need to either be able to give personally to the organization, or they need to be able to develop their network of friends, partners and contacts to come alongside the organization. If a Board Member is excited about what the organization is doing, they’ll want to tell others about it.
If you have Board Members that don’t fit any of these categories, you need to figure out what they are bringing to the organization. A board that engages these things is a solid board that will make a difference in the life of the vision.