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They are volunteers, too!
Look here for information and the latest techniques to develop your board or committee. The purpose is to help those who work or serve on nonprofit boards of directors or committees.

~ June 2006 ~ Topic

The President's Role in Helping the Board Do a Better Job

Sometimes the president of a nonprofit perceives his/her job as keeping the Executive Director (ED) on track, and forgets about keeping the board members on track.

  • The president needs to appoint committee chairs and follow up with them, making sure they are meeting as required. The president needs to remind the committee chair to get his or her report in on time for the board meeting packet and only to bring up issues at the meeting that require board action.
  • The president is also the one who should deal with problem board members…those who aren't attending meetings or those whose joy it is to be the naysayer contrarians—no matter what the issues are or consistency with their previous positions.
  • The president is the only one who can take the non-cooperative board member out for a cup of coffee and try to determine what is causing the problem.
  • The president also should be the one to require an annual self-assessment of the board.

These aren't matters that the ED can handle gracefully, and he/she shouldn't have to handle them.

Other good sources for information on nonprofits, boards and committees:

Jeanne Bradner can be reached at Jeannebrad@aol.com.

See our online bookstore for Jeanne Bradner's book on boards: The Board Member’s Guide: A Beneficial Bestiary and Leading Volunteers for Results: Building Communities Today, and Passionate Volunteerism.
Passionate Volunteerism Book link to bookstoreLeading Volunteers Book Image Board Member's Guide Image

Jeanne H. Bradner

Jeanne H. Bradner is an author, consultant, trainer and speaker on volunteerism, board development and leadership. She is the author of three publications, The Board Member's Guide, A Beneficial Bestiary and Leading Volunteers for Results: Building Communities Today and Passionate Volunteerism. She served as director of the Illinois Governor's Office of Voluntary Action, Midwest Regional Director of ACTION, and Executive Director of the Illinois Commission on Community Service. She is the volunteer program specialist for Illinois' Harper College Volunteer Management curriculum.

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