I Propose... Making a Proposal to a Board of Directors: Power Networking Tips & Techniques

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Rae Stonehouse, author of Power Networking for Shy People: Tips & Techniques for Moving from Shy to Sly! offers proven sage advice on how to maximize your business networking effectiveness.

In “I propose …” Making a Proposal to a Board of Directors: Power Networking Tips & Techniques Rae provides sage advice on how joining and participating on a non-profit board of directors can raise your community exposure.

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I Propose... Making a Proposal to a Board of Directors: Power Networking Tips & Techniques

  1. 1. “I propose …” Making a Proposal to a Board of Directors: Power Networking Tips & Techniques Being asked to sit as a Director on a Board of Directors of a nonprofit organization can be an effective way to both give back to society and a power networking technique to raise your visibility in your community. Unfortunately, most boards don’t provide you with a “User’s Manual” on how to navigate the many tasks that an active board takes on. Board meetings, committee meetings, member meetings … coffee meetings, yes you will be required to participate in meetings. Lots of them! It is how things get done. Or some would have you believe. Sometimes discussion about an agenda item can be jump started by using a proposal. An effective proposal presented both verbally and in writing, gives every member as complete a picture of the issue as possible. Some elements to include in the verbal proposal:  An overview which describes why this item is important and worth group time  Goals you want the issue to achieve  A description which details what the item is about and its history  A list of pro’s and con’s Some elements to include in the written proposal: The INTRODUCTION presents and summarizes the problem you intend to solve and your solution to that problem, including the benefits the reader/group will receive from the solution and the cost of that solution. The BODY of the proposal should explain the complete details of the solution: how the job will be done, broken into separate tasks; what method will be used to do it, including the equipment, material, and personnel that would be required; when the work will begin; and, when the job will be completed. It should also present a detailed cost breakdown for the entire job. The CONCLUSION should emphasize the benefits that the reader will realize from your solution to the problem and should urge the reader to action. It should be encouraging, confident and assertive in tone. Once a proposal is introduced (and ideally it should be handed out well before the meeting so people have enough time to think about it), a listing of issues and concerns can be
  2. 2. brain-stormed and worked through, discussion can happen about the issues and concerns, and a new, modified proposal can be drafted. Once sufficient discussion has occurred you may want to generate several alternative proposals and see if any of them work for the group. Often, by combining elements of multiple proposals, the end result is found. Sometimes starting a discussion with a proposal can lead the group astray by starting at a particular place which may exclude other ideas or options. It can be helpful to introduce a starting proposal as just a starting place to get discussion going on the issue, rather than finished thinking about the issue. As discussion on a subject is winding down, concerns have been aired and discussed, call for a proposal. It may be useful to have a break after the discussion to let people mingle more, then after the break call for proposals for consideration. If you have the skills, expertise and an interest in a particular cause why not get involved with the group? Taking on a leadership role is a great way to leverage your visibility in your community and in turn increase your network. Who knows … it may even lead to a career change. Rae Stonehouse is the author of Power Networking For Shy People: Tips & Techniques to Move from Shy to Sly! Visit us at http://www.powernetworkingforshypeople.com Join our discussion on Facebook & LinkedIn. Just search for Power Networking for Shy People.

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