5 ways to show your board members their value 


The Brief
While everyone loves a board of directors with deep pockets, too often, these big-ticket donors fulfill only a small part of their potential while occupying a seat at your org’s table. Getting them to engage, however, often means showing them just how valuable they are, and it starts with some appreciation. Here are five ways to get the most from your board of directors by showing them exactly what they mean to your organization.
Board of Directors

1.      Say thank you when they don’t expect it.

The easiest way to show your board members that you appreciate them is to thank them, but don’t wait for the rote message in the quarterly newsletter or at the annual gala. Just like a bouquet of flowers means more on a random Tuesday than on Valentine’s Day, thanking your board of directors when they least expect it—in person, at public events, in informational materials, in one-on-one conversations—will show them that your appreciation is genuine, and not just a formality.

2.      Ask for more than their money.

Your board members are worth more than the contents of their wallet; if you’re smart, you likely recruited them for their professional experience and access to key players and community members. Give them opportunities to use other skill sets. It’s a win-win: your organization will benefit from their expertise, and your board members will be more engaged and have the satisfaction of knowing they are more than walking checkbooks.

3.      Show them their impact.

Showing donors where their money goes is an integral part of any donor engagement strategy, and it should be no different for your board members. Did one of them connect your organization to a key stakeholder, or use his influence and expertise to remove roadblocks on an important project? Show him exactly how his help has worked to serve the organization’s mission.

4.      Set specific long- and short-term goals

The best way to show your board members what they’ve accomplished is by setting specific goals and celebrating group and individual achievements. Demonstrating impact is much easier when there are goals to measure against. Furthermore, having a strategic long-term plan can show board members the value of their legacy.

5.      Keep the conversation open.

Of course, to understand how board members want to be appreciated, you could always just ask them! Set up individual meetings to talk about their goals for the organization and what they feel they bring to the table. A thoughtful conversation reminds your board members that their voices are important, and encourages them to speak up more often and stay motivated throughout their tenure.

RelSci provides a relationship capital platform that helps create competitive advantage for organizations through a crucial yet vastly underutilized asset: relationship capital with influential decision makers. Learn more about reaching high impact donors with our new white paper, Innovative Fundraising: Three Strategies for Attracting the Next Generation of Donors.” 


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