Throughout this pandemic, we’ve seen two types of board members – those that were “all in” and completely engaged and those that checked out completely. Earlier this week we talked about how to recognize those board members who have gone above and beyond. Now, let’s get serious about the rest of them!
Board engagement is important to any nonprofit’s success. Too often, we let board members off the hook for commitments they’ve made. They aren’t held accountable for their give/get. They don’t show up for meetings time after time. Of course, some have valid reasons why they can’t make these commitments, but for many, they are being excused for the wrong reasons.
If you ask Executive Directors and CEOs why they let it happen, a few will say they don’t have time to deal with it or they’re afraid they will offend the board members. Others will say that the board member is too valuable to the nonprofit and they don’t want to upset the person with this difficult conversation.
It’s time to hold them accountable to the tasks they committed to when they signed on for the board. Have them conduct an annual assessment of their performance. Evaluate whether they’ve achieved their give/get (if they haven’t, help them). And most importantly, don’t let them make excuses for not making their goals.