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4 Stages of Nonprofit Board Development

Nonprofit Board Development: Best Practices & Tips

Developing an effective governing board is critical to the success of any nonprofit organization. An effective board will provide the strategic leadership necessary to ensure the organization achieves its mission.

There are several stages that a board will go through as it matures and becomes more effective—and DCM Associates is here to help along the way. From board performance and executive leadership surveys to succession planning services, our leading experts provide the resources and support your organization needs to succeed.

The following are our best tips and practices for nonprofit board development:

Define the Role of the Board

What is the board’s primary purpose? What are the expectations for board members? Board members should be clear about what is expected of them and their roles and responsibilities.

Recruit Diverse Individuals

A diverse board with a range of competencies, skills, and experiences will bring different perspectives and ideas to the table, which can help the organization achieve its goals.

Train and Orient New Members

New board members should be given much more than just an orientation to familiarize them with the organization’s history, mission, and programs. They should also be provided ongoing training on the evolving roles and responsibilities and expectations of board members.

Encourage Board Members to Participate

Board members should be encouraged to participate in all aspects of the organization’s work, including discussing the value and social impact your organization has on the community you serve, fundraising, and advocacy.

4 Stages of Nonprofit Board Development

An effective board is critical to the success of any nonprofit organization yet can be challenging to achieve. Defining roles, recruiting individuals with complementary skill sets, orienting new members, encouraging active participation, and conducting regular performance evaluations are all critical steps in developing an effective board.

Here are the four stages of successful nonprofit development:

Stage #1: Identify Your Needs

The first stage of nonprofit board development is identifying the ideal board matrix of competencies needed for new board members. This can be done by conducting a self-assessment with the help of DCM Associates. Once the need is identified, the next step is to recruit individuals with the competencies, skills, and experience to complement the existing board. The final step in this stage is to orient the new board members on the organization’s mission, vision, and goals.

Stage #2: Build Working Relationships

The second stage of nonprofit board development is building relationships within the board. This includes creating a culture of respect and trust among board members. It also involves establishing clear roles and responsibilities for each member. Furthermore, this stage requires developing policies and procedures that govern how the board operates.

Stage #3: Evaluate Performance

The third stage of nonprofit board development is evaluating the board’s performance with DCM Associates’ Executive Leadership & Board Governance Online Assessment Survey. Once the evaluation is complete, the next step is developing a plan to improve the board’s performance. This may include changes to the board’s structure, composition, or operations. Finally, this stage requires implementing the plan and monitoring its progress.

Stage #4: Sustain the Board’s Effectiveness

The fourth stage of nonprofit board development is sustaining the board’s effectiveness. This includes maintaining a commitment to creating a culture of continuous learning and improvement, adapting to changes in the external environment, and ensuring that the board remains relevant to the organization’s mission. It also involves recruiting new members when necessary and providing training and support to existing members.

Contact DCM Associates Today

DCM Associates has extensive experience helping organizations develop comprehensive nonprofit boards. We can help you assess your current leadership needs and develop a plan to address them. We can also help you implement and monitor your plan to ensure success. Contact us today to learn more about how we can help you develop a comprehensive succession leadership plan.

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Dennis C. Miller