Are Your Nonprofit Board Members Aligned to Achieve Your Vision?

3 Signs Your Nonprofit Board Members May Need Some Fine-Tuning

What has always impressed me the most working with nonprofit board members and executive leaders is their passion and commitment to make a difference in the lives of those they serve. They truly care about others, and their commitment to succeed despite the ever-increasing challenges inspires me.

What concerns me is how many nonprofit boards continue to spend an inordinate amount of time and energy without the results and successes they hoped to achieve. Perhaps it’s time to incorporate the concept of strategic alignment, the process of ensuring that all stakeholders are focused and committed to achieving one goal: your strategic vision.

Five signs that your board may require some ‘fine-tuning’ include:

  • Low level of board engagement and motivation
  • Lack of a real partnership between the Board and the CEO
  • Board Committees that are not strategically aligned
  • Recruiting who you know versus who you really need
  • My board would rather have a root canal than raise money

Low Level of Board Engagement and Motivation: Board meetings should be structured to encourage questions, solicit ideas, and debate key strategic issues confronting the organization. Meetings that only ask board members for approval to reply, “all in favor say I” will not engage nor motivate anyone.

Lack of a Partnership Between the Board and the CEO: Though the board roles of fiduciary, business, and strategic advisors remain important, providing leadership to the nonprofit organization in partnership with the chief executive is the ideal role of the board for an organization to succeed.

Board Committees That Are Not Strategically Aligned: Each board committee should have a specific goal that ties to your organization’s strategic vision and goals. Often the best thing a board member can hear is “the committee meeting has been canceled”.

Recruiting Who You Know Versus Who You Really Need: There is absolutely nothing wrong with recruiting new board members that you know.  However, far too often, we don’t recruit for the board competencies we need. Creating an ideal board matrix of competencies like inspirational leadership, strategic thinking, change agent, etc.  should come first before we recruit solely based on skills.

My Board Would Rather Have a Root Canal Than Raise Money: Just because you have prominent business and community leaders serving on your nonprofit board does not mean they possess the self-confidence to assist in the cultivation and solicitation of new donors. Transitioning from the “tin cup” to the “investment” theory of fundraising will a major game changer for you.


It has never been easier to get your nonprofit board high-functioning and cohesive. Dennis C. Miller has been in the nonprofit game for decades and is offering his experiences and knowledge with two online courses. These two new online courses will enable your nonprofit board members and leadership team to learn the skills, competencies, and self-confidence required to become a high performing nonprofit organization. From the comfort of your own home or office, discover how you can get back to the mission at hand.