Build a Better Board with a Better Board Orientation
Every job needs a job description, and every new member of a nonprofit’s board of directors needs a board orientation. The reasons are similar: In both cases, you want the new member of your team to know exactly what is expected of them, so they can be successful right out of the gate.
Key information in a board orientation
Make sure that, at a minimum, your board orientation provides new members with:
- A written description of the position
- A review of organizational operations (mission, bylaws, organizational chart, recent Form 990s, etc.)
- A summary of board goals, with a review of recent meeting minutes
- Fundraising obligations
- Attendance expectations and when and for how long the board meets
Motivate and inform
The board orientation provides an opportunity to do more than simply inform members of their roles and responsibilities. It also provides a chance to let new board members know how important they are to the organization’s success.
When members know that their skills and experience are valued, and they know exactly what’s expected of them, they’ll feel more confident when talking to friends, family, and potential donors. They’ll also be more likely to value their position and feel empowered to use their skills and experience to help the organization meet its goals.
Build a better board
Another advantage of conducting a thorough board orientation is that it can help the entire board of directors run more smoothly. If a new member comes on board who does not understand the organization’s mission or is confused or surprised by member responsibilities, the disruption can disrupt operations for both the board and the executive team.
In contrast, the arrival of a new member who understands the organization’s mission knows exactly what is expected of them, and feels empowered to tackle new challenges can breathe new life into the board and the organization.
Insero & Co. has served nonprofits of all sizes for more than 40 years. Our experts provide outsource accounting services, audit services, employee benefit plan audits, and other services to help organizations be more productive and efficient.