Focus on Your Fans (Stakeholders)
Make people a priority: make your members and donors happy and you will build a stronger volunteer base. Get a membership and/or donor recruitment and retention program in place by having board members call and ask what they want and need (in addition to or instead of a members/donors survey). Then get metrics in place so you know you are meeting those needs. Avoid planning programs or educational events just because you think your organization should be doing them. Find out what your community really wants, and then be sure to invite them to contribute as a volunteer in a way that aligns with their interests.
5. Involved The Whole Board Member
Board members are real people with work, family and other private commitments. Try providing opportunities for which they don’t have to choose between family and USGBC. You can plan an annual event that involves the board’s family members. Make it fun and even educational.
Action 4 – The Strategic Plan as Your Compass
Keep your strategic plan front and center. It should be your compass as you link the day to day work with the larger vision and goals. Try designing your board meetings around the strategic plan and have each board member be accountable for their part in the plan. If your strategic plan is outdated, take the time to revisit and update it so that it’s relevant and inspiring.
Start your quarterly Thank-a-Thon. Make a list of every funder you have, including annual and event sponsors, foundations, and individuals. Randomly assign board members the job of calling that sponsor quarterly to check in, say thank you for their current or past support, find out if there is anything else they want or need from the chapter, and invite them to something. NO ASKING FOR MONEY. THANK YOU only.
Are you looking for commitment and accountability from your board members? If so, try asking them to do things individually (one-on-one) instead of in groups, and explain why their support is important. In groups, diffusion of responsibility makes it easier for people to opt out. Also, working with someone individually reminds them that they matter, they’re important and they need to contribute.
I recently did a coaching call with a board chair and executive director that were looking to put some zest, commitment and energy back into their board. So I thought we’d run a series of six steps you can take this year to re-birth the board!
1. Focus on Fun
Ask yourself at every event and meeting – are we having fun? If not, find something to make it fun, reconnect people with their passion, remind them why this is the best non-profit in the world to spend their free time with. Energy is a really good indicator of whether you are connected to your vision/mission and seeing above the day-to-day junk. If energy is low, what needs to shift to bring it up again? What needs to be given up? What should be added? If you don’t have enough time to get to know each other and enjoy each other, why is that and how can it be addressed?