Belonging to a board of directors can mean many things'”it can be a badge of honor or prestige, it can be a way to put one’s beliefs and interests into practice, and it can also be a way to be involved, develop leadership skills and give back to the community. Recruiting good individuals for a nonprofit board of directors can be a challenge, but to get and keep good board members, consider how to promote a sense of pride in board participation.
It may seem like a no-brainer, but nonprofit agencies need board members who are committed and proud to be involved with the organization. While every organization has its flaws and foibles, volunteer board members need to be appreciated and encouraged to feel good about their participation. This can be done in a myriad ways.
Invite board members to attend not only the organization’s events and activities but to also participate in community activities as a representative of the board. Being involved with the public and getting the immediate feedback for their work can help them feel good about their dedication to the organization.
Executive staff can promote pride in board service by saying thank you in a variety of ways and giving board members the chance to interact with staff, clients, customers and others who are benefiting from the mission of the agency or organization. Board members can often be distanced from the “feel good” part of the work or mission and encouraging interaction on a more intimate level with others in the organization can support the board members’ passion, interest and efforts.
Recognize board service with press releases, articles in the organization’s newsletter and in other ways that draw public support and feedback for the volunteer efforts. The more appreciated and useful board members feel, as well as the more informed they are of the organization’s work, the more likely they will take pride in their board service.