WELCOMING NEW BOARD MEMBERS
A board needs to do more than just take up space. It needs to provide value to the organization. Unfortunately, many boards can be formless and useless. A lot of the time, the reasoning behind this lack of activity, is orientation. As soon as new members join, they need to be oriented into the organization and they must be told the expectations of work and participation.
Steel Safety Toe Blue Shoes Blue Shoes Optimal Shoes Men's Work The responsibility of orienting new board members should be shared between the executive director, board chairperson and a few other board members. It should not be the sole responsibility of the executive director or of any one person. However, from my experience you only have a few board meetings to get the new members “on board” and get them rolling, otherwise they will fall into bad habits of expecting to do little or nothing. Board culture is ingrained and established very quickly for new members.
Below are some valuable insight for an effective orientation program that can help welcome new board members:
1. Introduce them to the organization.Avenger Shoe Nubuck Brown Women's Hiking EH 7156 Toe Comp rAZqrEx
Make sure the executive director and other important leaders, sit down with them and go over the organization’s mission, goals, and objectives. It’s critical that the new board members have a solid understanding of the vision and mission of the organization. Have this take place prior to their first board meeting.
2. Give them a tour of the organization’s office and facilities.
Make sure they “see and feel” what the organization is all about, and have them meet some of the clients who can tell them stories that the new board members can share with the community and others. Introduce them to key staff and volunteers.
3. Introduce them personally to each board member.
Take the time to introduce them to everyone as key players, so they feel welcomed as an important participant. Provide the message that they are critical to the success of the organization and they are there not just taking up space.
4. Provide a board orientation manual with the basics.
Make sure the board members know what is expected of them in terms of committee assignments, dollar amount of financial contributions, the role of the board in relationship to the executive director, etc. I still like the three ring binders that are tabulated with categories such as: history and background; goals and objectives, budget and financial information; fundraising, legal documents (by-laws and articles of incorporation), brochures and marketing materials; list and bio of board and staff members; personnel policies and procedures; etc.
Blue Shoes Toe Men's Shoes Optimal Shoes Work Blue Safety Steel 5. Take them out to lunch.
Make sure either the board president or the executive director takes the new board members out to lunch during the first month on the job. When you take them to lunch, give them an assignment to fulfill that will get them active right from the get-go. Make sure they “hit the ground running”.White Quiksilver Textile Voyage Men's Grey Sneaker Grey UgRYPUp
6. Write them a welcome letter.
The board president should write a welcome letter to each new board member that formally welcomes them into the organization and thanks them for their time, energy and expertise.
7. Assign them a buddy.
Have the president of the board assign a new board member a buddy that will sit next to him/her during the first few meetings. This buddy could also go out to lunch with the new member, answer questions and make sure they are engaged and involved right from the beginning.
8. Provide them with necessary information.
Give the new members information such as annual reports, auditor reports, strategic plans, job descriptions, etc. Include some past minutes of meeting and other materials that will help educate the new member.
9. Put them on the agenda.
At the first board meeting, provide every new member an opportunity to talk to the board about their experiences, motivations, and passions. Within the next six months have them conduct a 10-15 minute educational session on an issue they are passionate about. This is a great way for the board to get to know the member and for the member to open up about themselves.
10. THANK THEM!
Make sure you thank them for their time and participation. It is also a good idea to begin to collect their birthday, anniversaries and other significant events so you can acknowledge them throughout the year.
Congratulations on any additions you have made to your board!