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Everyone knows that board members hold some of the highest leadership roles, particularly the nonprofit board chair. Many organizations, however, acknowledge that the board chair's primary role at monthly meetings is that of a facilitator.
In addition to outlining five leadership strategies to create an environment conducive to long-term success and integrity, this article will outline the major functions and responsibilities of the board member.
To maintain the vision, every charity organization needs a charismatic board chair. In a similar vein, effective firms will have a solid board of directors while nurturing good energy and leadership.
There are several duties that a board chair must perform, including but not limited to:
Act as chairman of all board meetings
Select committee participants.
Exercise general control over the company's business dealings.
Carry out any additional responsibilities that the board may from time to time assign.
If you don't know the surrounding individuals, it's challenging to reach an agreement. A successful board chair will make an effort to build rapport with influential members of the organization. Plan social events so that the board and staff can mingle. This can be as easy as holding a potluck, coffee, or other networking event right before or after a board meeting.
Learn more about your executive director or key personnel. This could entail a site visit, a meal to show appreciation for the personnel, or just a cup of coffee in the office. In order to learn how the community views the organization, not simply how the board and staff view it, connect with community members, volunteers, and clients who are involved in your purpose.
The public and your fellow board members are looking at you as the chair to see if you are "talking the talk." If you are not, then everyone else is automatically free to avoid their responsibilities as well. If you rarely pull up your sleeves to help the mission grow, it is not enough to sit at the head of the table.
Obtain a detailed understanding of the organization's strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats by completing a thorough orientation process (SWOT). Commit to volunteering for initiatives or services that enable you to interact with the people your purpose affects.
Consider yourself the organization's steward, and your responsibility is to take care of the organization's needs so that it can expand and prosper. By making sure that your board positions are filled with qualified, enthusiastic people who have the organization's best interests in mind, you can maintain the integrity of your organization. Keep the onboarding and offboarding process active by making it a deliberate exercise in building a solid leadership team rather than allowing it to become inert.
Be mindful of your volunteers and staff. Don't support the nonprofit mentality that allows underpaying and overworking employees because the organization's "purpose" justifies it. The heart doesn't pay the bills, and if your staff members don't get paid competitively and on time.
The board chair is ultimately responsible. It is not the staff's responsibility to keep board members accountable if they promise to accomplish something but fail to follow through. Think about how you can describe important duties, forthcoming activities, and ways the board can participate.
To design an organizational calendar that details important activities and events, work with the board and staff. Ensure that board members have ample time to examine the agenda well before the meeting date by scheduling regular meeting dates in advance, sending out timely reminders, and doing so!
Make sure all policies and procedures are up-to-date by reviewing them. Inform the board and arrange a time to amend the organization's bylaws, strategic plan, fundraising strategy, personnel handbook, conflict of interest policy, or any other important operational policies if they need to be updated.
An executive director's relationship with the board chair is crucial since it is the interface between governance and management. Managing and motivating the staff falls under one's responsibility, and managing and motivating the board falls under another's. Ideally, the relationship should be symbiotic and focused on how each leader can best leverage resources to accomplish the organization's mission and vision.
Plan frequent dialogues to review the status of the objectives specified in your strategic plan and to create the agenda for board meetings.
Distinguish between what the ED thinks should be in ED reports and what the board would want to see included.
Create guidelines for communication. What is a reasonable response time, what availability hours, and how does each person prefer to receive messages and important correspondences?
Create a succession plan with the board and personnel in cooperation.
The most important requirement for a successful nonprofit board chair is that they need a clear understanding of the role, the skills to carry out crucial duties, and the willingness to lead by example. The entire dynamic of the governing board and the organization can be changed by that special blend of knowledge, abilities, and willingness.
Shellye is committed to helping people from diverse backgrounds achieve their careers and life aspirations. The content published above was made in collaboration with our members.
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