Insights from Starboard: Board Chair Companion

We are happy to share what we learn, and we do this as workshop instructors, by developing curriculum for the Maine Association of Nonprofits and individual clients, and by offering advice on our Starboard blog. Take a look. You just might find the guidance you need!

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Ensure that your recruitment process is truly strategic

If you are determined to build a stronger board, it is time to get strategic about it. You probably can’t afford to take a chance that the recruitment process you are about to launch will only result in “more of the same.” You want board members who can bring the skills, abilities and experience that …
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Without a charge the nominating process can drift

Imagine being put in charge of a committee where the only guidance you are given is, “Your committee is responsible for recruiting new board members.” You would be certain to have plenty of questions, including, “Is that all?” I think every committee should have a specific “charge” that tells them what you hope they’ll achieve, …
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If recruitment is a priority, put the right people on the job

I can’t say it any more clearly and directly than this: if you want to recruit top-notch board members, you need to recruit or assign your very best people to the task. As board chair, the appointment of committee chairs and committee members is likely to be one of your responsibilities (or at least something …
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When adding board members, start by subtracting

I’ve taken several dozen boards through the process of board self-assessment, and one thing that emerges over and over again is the frustration that active board members have about inactive board members—those board members who miss more meetings than they attend, rarely participate in committee meetings, and yet still fill a seat. By tolerating the …
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Your legacy as chair – a stronger board

When it comes to possible legacies for the board chair, here’s an obvious one: “Leave the board in better shape than you found it.” That may not sound terribly ambitious, but it is harder than you might imagine and possibly the best thing you could ever do for your nonprofit. Sure, providing them with a …
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The board chair and chief executive relationship – a team approach

While one of the board chair’s primary responsibilities is to manage the relationship between the board and the chief executive, it doesn’t mean that this responsibility has to be carried-out alone. In fact, there are tremendous benefits to engaging current and future board leadership in this relationship. • Keep it professional – You may have …
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