Many of us deal with a board of directors, especially in the non-profit arena. I serve on a couple of boards for ministries I am involved with. Being on a board can be a great experience, both for the board member and for the executive director/president. It can also be incredibly frustrating and taxing, especially to the leader in charge of the organization.
So thought I would provide a few points here on the role of a board member, and the overall role and responsibility of a Board of Directors, specifically as it relates to non-profit charities or ministries:
1. Give, get, or get off- give money, go get some money, or get off the bus. You have to help the organization thrive financially.
2. One employee, one customer- sole focus of the board is the role and responsibility of the executive director/president of the organization. Don’t mess with the rest of the team. It’s not the role of the board.
3. Health and stability- take care of your executive director and make sure they are healthy and stable. Their sense of well being is your responsibility.
4. Be a friend, and advocate- while the board should only focus on the role of the executive director/president, that doesn’t mean you can’t be friends with the rest of the staff. Friendship is important, and so is advocacy. Be a cheerleader, and a fan of the team.
5. Carry the vision- own the vision of the organization. It can’t just be owned by the visionary or founder.
6. Stay in your strengths- make sure the board members are operating in their areas of strength. In their areas of interest and focus. Not just serving on a committee just for the committee’s sake.
7. Make connections- leverage your relationship network and folks you know for the good of the organization. Connect your friends, family and business associates.
8. Replace yourself- find other potential board members who can take your place. Succession and legacy are critical.