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Building the board of directors your nonprofit needs

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Building the board of directors your nonprofit needs

  1. 1. Building the board of directors you need Gayle L. Gifford, ACFRE, M.S.
  2. 2. Questions for Today Who do you need on this board? Where can you find them? How do you cultivate, vet and onboard? How will you keep them?
  3. 3. Workshop protocols • Use chat or hand raise if you have questions • Mute when not asking questions • This is a taste, not the whole meal. • You get what you give. • What matters is what happens when you leave. • There are no wrong questions.
  4. 4. Board Member Hats • Whole = Governance • Individual = Volunteer Board effectiveness is a social construction – David Renz
  5. 5. Case: Urban Debate League Program: • Afterschool high school debate teams & tournaments in 10 Title I schools in four cities. • Evidence-Based Argumentation (EBA): Innovative teacher development program transfers debate skills into the classroom. Documented learning gains. Staff • 10 year Executive Director resigned. • Program director promoted to Executive Director. • 1 Vista • Teacher coaches paid by their schools. Funding • $150,000 budget (with EBA); 50% grants; 50% contributions • Difficulty renewing EBA contract with school department. • Chronic cash flow shortages, tenuous funding Board • 12 board members: seven active • One recent resignation (a former educational leader) • Two chronically absent rotating off. • Three-year terms
  6. 6. Question 1 Who do you need on this board?
  7. 7. Board Composition Board members as capital investments and Board members aren’t seats, they are human beings – Deb Beck Capital is any enduring asset capable of producing additional assets From: • Economics: Principles and Practices; G.E. Clayton, 2008 • Beyond the Balance Sheet, Elizabeth Castillo • Governance as Leadership, Taylor, Ryan, Chait Human value • Intellectual • Moral • Creative • Psychological Relational value • Social • Political • Spiritual Symbolic value • Reputational • Cultural • Geographic Financial value • Giving
  8. 8. A board of leaders Idea generation and innovation Envisioning • Foster frame-breaking thinking Resource connecting Spanning • Networking, Intelligence gathering Details, structure Organizing • Task oriented, get things done Team developer Social • Humor, caring, conflict mediation
  9. 9. The new board matrix Parts • Contributed knowledge • Leveraged relationships • Applied cultural fluency • Self-management Whole • From outside, the synthesis of the above
  10. 10. Matrix Tool
  11. 11. Question 2 Where can you find them?
  12. 12. Where to look • Donors, volunteers • Participants • Community partners • Traditional & social media • Ask for them • Corporate community relations • External nominating committee • Keep a perpetual running list This Photo by Unknown Author is licensed under CC BY-SA
  13. 13. Question 3 How will you cultivate, vet and onboard them?
  14. 14. Create a rigorous recruiting process. • Courting and cutting • Resumes • Site visits • Informal interview • Formal interview • Reference checks • Clear expectations
  15. 15. Question 4 How will you keep them?
  16. 16. A board where folks want to serve • Work that matters • Meetings that matter • I matter • Transforming experiences • Opportunities to learn • High expectations • Interesting, collegial peers • Fun • Rewarding
  17. 17. A few more words on diversity • Do the hard work • Look for barriers in all places • Build authentic work and partnerships • Level power structures • Be honest about intent, need, seek consent
  18. 18. Questions?
  19. 19. About Gayle L. Gifford, ACFRE, MS • Co-President, Cause & Effect Inc. www.ceffect.com • Co-researcher Voices of Board Chairs • Board chair Blackstone Academy Charter School Find me • gayle@ceffect.com • The Butterfly Effect www.ceffect.com/blog • Twitter @gaylegifford • LinkedIn gaylegifford Available through Amazon

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