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Qualities of Effective Board Members


Qualities of Effective Board Members

Establishing a nonprofit board of directors is essentially a two-step process. First you must choose your board's structure and then recruit your board members.

Step 2: Recruit Board Members

An effective nonprofit board of directors requires effective board members. When setting up a board of directors for your nonprofit organization, equip your board with individuals who demonstrate the following qualities:

  • Integrity.  Effective board members are committed to an "above-board" organization that complies with all laws on all governmental levels.

  • Strategy. Board members prepare and adhere to a sound strategic plan that provides measurable goals and ensures ongoing financial resources to support the organization's staffing and programs.

  • Service. Board members faithfully attend board meetings and special organizational events. They talk with staff members and clients, and sound out problems that need fixing or issues that must be addressed.

  • Commitment. Board members demonstrate their faith in the organization through personal financial contributions.

  • Preparation. Board members do their homework; they come to meetings informed and ready to discuss concerns, questions and disagreements about organizational methods and goals.

  • Enthusiasm. Board members are eager to learn, willing to be team players, and energetic in their service.

  • Scrutiny. Board members audit their records regularly and in detail.

  • Knowledge. Board members know the organization's mission and purpose, and understand how its programs and services support the organization's strategic plan.

  • Diplomacy. Board members represent the best of the organization, and mediate appropriately between the organization and the community it serves.

  • Focus. Board members direct the organization toward its goals without getting tied down in details or sidetracked by non-crucial issues.

  • Diversity. An effective board includes and involves members from various fields of expertise, with applicable degrees of organizational experience, to ensure that the organization is well balanced in its strengths.

  • Accountability. Each board member has a unique function on the board. Board members accept responsibility for their functions and for their actions.

  • Dependence. Board members acknowledge the value of the organization's staff and the need for committed, consistent volunteers.

Find out more about Step 1: Choosing Your Board's Structure.


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