The latest Better Business Bureau Wise Giving survey results released this week reveal that less than one in five (19%) of the American public “highly trusts” charities. Yet, this same survey indicated that an overwhelming majority of people report trust as essential before they donate. The low levels of trust exposed in this survey do not foretell strong future giving.
In addition to giving, what is it that we want our board members to do? Have we asked them to do it? If not, we should!
A 360-degree review can help uncover cultural issues about which board members may be totally unaware, the kinds of issues that run good staff—fundraisers as well as other professionals—out the door. A regular, 360-degree review process of nonprofit CEOs just might help end the revolving door crisis in fundraising.
MISSION MOMENTS: KEEPING YOUR BOARD CONNECTED
Are your board members missing meetings? Not showing up at events? Are your board members M.I.A.? Fear not! You can keep them engaged with mission moments.
With the publication last week of BoardSource’s updated Ten Basic Responsibilities of Board Members, I’ve been thinking a lot about Crutchfield and Grant’s seminal Forces for Good book. The Ten Basic Responsibilities of Board Members list of the core, fundamental, legal responsibilities of a Board member has been gospel for all of us for many years. Most of us have relied on this list to orient our board members and to explain board members’ responsibilities for new members.
When BoardSource changed this list last week, BoardSource didn’t make the number of items on the list longer, but what it did do is determine that ADVOCACY is a core responsibility of Board Members. The responsibility to advocate for the mission is added to the first core responsibility (to determine an organization’s mission and purpose) and discussions of advocacy are added to several other responsibilities such as the responsibility to enhance an organization’s public standing.
How to Have Your Board Members Begging to Come Back
Russell, my husband and business partner who primarily works for the camping and retreat ministries of the United Methodist Church, made an off-hand comment in the car the other day. He mentioned that he was about to go do exit interviews with two of his board members who had completed their terms and rotated off the board and that both of them, in setting up the appointments, had said that they missed serving on the board so much, they hardly knew what to do. Imagine, having board members dying to come back on board!
On his way to interview them, I gave him some questions to ask so that we could all gain some insight about factors contribute to their board service being such positive experiences. This is what he learned from these interviews about what they felt was important to creating a great board culture: