Engaging Your Board
How They Can Do More Now
Susan E. Mangels, Ph.D, Senior Vice President of Consulting Services
In this time of pandemic, we’ve revised our budgets, pivoted to communicate in new ways, and taken our programming virtual to stay in contact with donors and friends. Many of us have re-envisioned our research and programming to provide strong solutions for our country now and as we adjust to the new normal.
Particularly now, you want to keep your board fully engaged. Crises like these are “go-time” for your board. These committed supporters of your mission can help power your organization through these extraordinary times—and maybe come out stronger than where you started. Here are some suggestions:
- Keep in close touch with each board member as well as the full board. Share what you are doing in this time of uncertainty. Provide frequent progress reports and show how your organization is adapting. This gives your board a snapshot of both the challenges and resiliency of your organization.
- Enlist your board members to help share with donors how your organization is addressing the reality of the coronavirus. Make it easy for them to reach out to specific individuals or networks. Provide a one-pager with talking points and highlights of how your organization is working. Help each member understand how his or her outreach is crucial to supporting your organization and curing our nation’s ills.
- Recognize that each member is different. In light of each person’s unique abilities and attributes, what specific tasks might each member help with? Some members might have strong financial expertise, others legal knowledge and risk management intelligence, while others might be able to help with revising upcoming events to reflect appropriate social distancing practices.
- Ask board members to consider making a stretch gift or early pledge to your organization. Besides helping your cash flow now, being able to share with donors that board members are stepping up their giving and “paying it forward” sends a message of assurance, enthusiasm and confidence in your organization.
Susan E. Mangels, Ph.D. serves as Senior Vice President of Consulting Services at AC Fitzgerald. She uses her expertise in fundraising, management, and leadership development to oversee our consulting efforts and deliver exceptional service to clients.