Are Your Board Members Bored?

As some of you may know, I sit on several committee and boards, because I believe it is important to support the organizations whose missions are close to my heart. Even though I am not a major gifts prospect, I am an asset to these organizations because of my expertise in nonprofits, specifically in raising funds. I am happy to help, but I have to say, that many times, I am just plain BORED during the board meetings!

I know that by sitting on the board, I have a legal and fiduciary responsibility for the organization, but many times, these meetings are the one and only time that I can be engaged in the mission. I don’t want to approve minutes and listen to reports. What I want to do is help advance the mission, and I want to have lively discussions where I leave the meetings energized.

I have been informally polling other board members from various nonprofits, and I have found that I am not alone. This means that the structure for board meetings need to change so that your high level volunteers are not bored.

So what can you do? For starters:

  1. Before each meeting, send out the agenda, minutes for approval, along with the various reports (including the financials). Ask members to read the material prior to the meeting.
  2. At the beginning of the meeting, field any questions members might have about the reports.
  3. Have 2 active discussion topics
    1. A problem that is facing the organization
    2. An opportunity that is facing the organization
  4. Mission oriented interaction that is outside of the board room
  5. Closing meal with organization’s clients, volunteers, and/or staff

And don’t forget to ask your bored members, what they want out of their board meetings.

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