2/100 Things – Remember that your board members are volunteers too
We have such high expectations for our board members. (see my previous post “Can mere mortals be successful board members?” ) Of course, they have a unique legal responsibility for your organization, so their responsibility and accountabiity is significantly higher than other volunteers. (Though I can think of volunteers whose actions immediately affect the life or death of clients.)
But as a board member myself, I find that life’s other demands — family, work — usually come first. While I’m pretty self-motivated as a board member, I still need nudging from time to time.
Here are just a few of the things I’ve found very helpful to keep me engaged:
- Monthly updates from the Executive Director. When I was on the board of the RI Council for the Humanities, I very much valued the lovely eNewsletters board members received from the ED. They included not just insider news, but also other musings, trainings, and books or articles the ED was reading. They made me feel very connected and gave me a sense of who this person was that we had hired to run our organization.
- Assignments sent immediately after meetings. Rather than waiting for the minutes, which usually don’t get distributed until very close to the next meeting, a quick reminder from the committee chair of who committed to do what by when is very, very helpful. Thank you to committee chairs who do this.
- Team work. It helps to be assigned to projects with other colleagues. The camaraderie is appreciated and knowing that you’ve got someone else to be accountable to helps motivate quicker action.
- A thank you now and then. I don’t need gratitude for doing my formal job at board meetings, but when I’m working on a project as a leadership volunteer, it is nice to be appreciated now and then.
So just a few of the things on my list. What have you found helpful?