If you’re running a non-profit organization, then your board of directors is one of the most important aspects of that organization. The board provides guidance, structure, and many times it’s the board that sets your policy going forward. When your board is working together as a single unit, it can be an effective management tool to help your organization achieve its goals and move forward. When it isn’t working together, though, it can grind absolutely everything to a halt.
If you want to keep your board on-task and avoid disruptions and problems, then you should keep the following tips in mind.
Tip #1: Don’t Bury Them in Data
Smart organizations make decisions based on numbers and information. However, a board of directors is not analysts, and they don’t have the time (or often the skills) to take in all the data you have. Instead, you need to provide them with the conclusions that the data has provided. If you can explain to the board what the numbers mean, as Business Insider points out, then they’ll have the information they need to come together on decisions.
Tip #2: Organize Your Meetings
Routine is the mark of a smoothly-run company as George Bell points out. That’s why it’s a good idea to have meetings arranged several months out with your board. Many times their board positions are in addition to other parts of their lives, and they have busy schedules to contend with, too. Send out an email a few weeks before a meeting as a reminder, and put out topics you need to discuss. Prevent things from happening at the last minute, and your board will thank you for it.
Tip #3: Choose Your Directors Carefully
The board of directors sets your organization’s agenda, and that makes them very influential in the direction you’re going. However, as WilmerHale says, you want to make sure that your directors can work together. It’s important to establish ground rules for how meetings are conducted and to make sure that everyone on the board agrees with your overall goals and purpose, even if they differ on how best to achieve those particular goals.
Tip #4: Be Honest About What’s Happening
It’s a natural urge to downplay bad news or unfortunate happenings, but your board needs the facts if they’re going to make the right decisions. Make sure that you’re up-front about everything with your board; both the good and the bad. Otherwise, they simply won’t have the information they need to make good decisions.
Tip #5: Make Connections With Your Board
Whether you see eye-to-eye all the time or not, the board is all in this together with you. That’s why it’s important to facilitate communication and to form real relationships with them. Make sure you know each other so that when you have issues you know how to talk them out and come to agreements. You don’t all have to be friends, but you do all have to be on the same side.
For more tips on keeping your board moving in the right direction, simply contact us today!