Board Members are Volunteers, Too

Fri, Apr 25, 2014 at 6:50PM

Hardy Smith, Nonprofit Speaker & Consultant

While the afterglow of April’s volunteer recognition month activity is still bright, remember that your board members are volunteers too.

In my Why Don’t Board Members Do What They’re Supposed to Do? survey, board members shared that they don’t feel appreciated for their board service work.  In fact many of the survey participants said a lack of appreciation is a contributing factor to board members not performing as expected.

My Valentine’s Day @hardysmith1 Tweetout, “Are your nonprofit board members feeling the love because many of them say not so much,” conveyed the importance of board member recognition.

Organizations working successfully with volunteers are conscious of implementing a well developed management plan relating to those volunteers..

Likewise, the key elements of a good volunteer management plan apply to board members.  And we know that one of the most important of those actions is recognition, recognition, recognition.

Acknowledgment and showing appreciation for a volunteer’s good efforts should not be limited to one annual special occasion.  Communicating thank yous throughout the year needs to be a regular routine.

Not to suggest that some are more important than others, but your board members should be considered high value volunteers and included among those receiving that all important recognition.  After all, they are charged with responsibility for making the mission happen and many are also financial supporters.

Board members, like your other volunteers, are more likely to perform as desired when they know they aren’t being taken for granted.


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