Creating Advisory Boards – The Road to Nonprofit Progress

Creating Advisory Boards – The Road to Nonprofit Progress

Frustrated because your board members lack passion for the cause and don’t want to raise money?

If you’re a CEO or board member, your nonprofit needs you to activate that board. It’s time for a development board. But…

What if some extenuating circumstances suggest that a direct approach to the board is not a good idea at this time? Try advisory boards.

Advisory boards are a great way to recharge the juices in nonprofit leadership and progress. Here are a few reasons why:

  • Recruits individuals who may not (yet) be eligible for board membership.
  • Expands opportunities to attract new talent, perspectives and participation in the organization, people who are honored by the appointment and eager to contribute.
  • Attracts additional leadership to the organization without threatening current board members ie. you don’t need to be forced to invite one to leave in order to invite another to join. And if there’s a problem on the board, you can work around it by choosing to fight that battle another day.
  • Recruits leaders who want to serve but don’t want to take on fiscal responsibility (board only) for the nonprofit.
  • It appeals to potential members who are often overcommitted but still want to be involved, so they like the limited number of typical board meetings per year.
  • It helps keep members focused, thereby increasing the likelihood of success, through ‘one-goal’ advice. If your board exists to “give or receive,” members who accept an appointment have already made a commitment to participate financially.
  • It offers an opportunity to increase diversity among the organization’s influencers.
  • Acts as the farm’s leadership development team for board and other organizational opportunities.
  • Represent the organization or one of its departments by best matching the professional experience or interests of the board members.

There are more reasons why advisory boards can be your leadership or advancement panacea. Add your own experiences to the list.

Perhaps your nonprofit organization reserves for the governing board the power to appoint boards and/or members. This may be appropriate depending on your organization’s history and needs. But you may want to expedite the creation of advisory boards and the recruitment/appointment of members by developing a brief draft advisory board and then asking the board to pass a resolution authorizing the CEO to develop advisory boards and recruit members later. as the organization may require. You can also use the plan as a job description to orient new board members.

Here is an example of what an advisory board plan might include:

Mission: To advise the CEO on organizational and community leadership issues.

advisor: Expertise, insight, strategic thinking, innovative ideas, networking, trend analysis, encouragement, visioning, leadership, advocacy, mentoring, support, opportunities and community input.

Membership: Members will be appointed for their leadership, experience, wisdom and contacts that they can use to build the organization’s effectiveness and reputation. They should be men of good character whose lives and work by association will be a credit to each other and to the organization. Members are appointed by the Chief Executive.

Conditions: Members will serve without conditions (or you can develop conditions) for as long as the CEO and board member deem the service mutually beneficial.

Members must attend meetings honestly and agree to financially support the organization on an annual or project basis.

Meetings: Boards usually meet four times a year in meetings called by the CEO. Special meetings may be called from time to time.

Powers: Councils have an advisory function with the consent of the Board of Directors. The advisory board’s recommendations will not have legal or binding force on the organization, but will likely influence the course of the organization’s development.

One final thought to make a rule of thumb: The worst thing you can do is appoint advisory board members and then not use them (talk, convene, listen, engage, etc.). Putting people on a board that leads nowhere wastes their time and disrespects their talent. Fool them once and you won’t fool them twice.

Advisory boards are a wonderfully flexible and potentially powerful tool. Used skillfully by a CEO or board, advisory boards can act as a chlorine shock to an organization’s leadership. They can help clear things up so you can see again where you’re going and how you’re going to get there.

#Creating #Advisory #Boards #Road #Nonprofit #Progress

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *