What Makes a Great Board Member?

A great board member is committed to the mission of your organization and has a solid network of friends, donors and colleagues. They’re committed to fulfilling their legal responsibilities and are able to set direction and resolve difficult issues, even when they have to challenge other board members. They must also be innovative and come up with fresh ideas.

Board members have a variety of responsibilities, from networking to fundraising to making sure that the materials for board meetings are reviewed and drafted prior to each session. The most effective board members take their responsibilities very seriously and are always ready for meetings and events. They anticipate the agenda of an upcoming board or committee meeting, and read reports and other papers prior to the meeting. They note all meetings in their calendars, and create automated reminders. They’re an enormous asset to the board.

Board directors on top often spot things that others don’t. They can help the CEO to think through the potential pitfalls and problems that could arise from certain decisions, and help him think about the future. They are also happy to coach other board members and receive mentorship themselves.

The most effective board members are open to new ideas and are always in a desire to learn. They are willing to attend educational events for boards of non-profit organizations such as workshops and conferences that will help them understand their responsibilities and engage in discussions with other board members. They’re also open to using technology tools that will aid them in performing better. For example they’re likely adopt an additional resources online portal for boards that can facilitate the flow of data and ensure that important documents are safe.

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