September 15, 2022

Bump Up Your Board Show Notes

Bump Up Your Board Event Graphic

Drat! Nearly every member wears a “resting bored face five minutes into your board meeting.”

You’ve lost them—again.

You know it doesn’t have to be this way.

After all, in well-functioning nonprofits, boards join lively discussions, provide insightful guidance and commit to in-between activities that further your mission and grow your community connections.

You want to maximize your board’s engagement in the critical task that boards do best, which is why you’ll be sorry you missed this CEO Conversation but never fear; all is not lost!

Show Notes

Here are the show notes from this pro-bono conversation with nonprofit CEOs from across the country, where we explored ways to bump up your board’s engagement:

Well-functioning boards join lively discussions, provide insightful guidance, and commit to in-between activities that further your mission and grow your connections.

Rank how well your board functions with one low and ten high.

Range 5-6, average 5.3

7 Recommended and Proven Board Engagement Tactics

  1. Consider a co-chair model
  2. Asking each member how we are serving the mission to start the meeting
  3. Give board members assignments about which they are passionate
  4. Ask members at the beginning of a meeting to identify what they did the last month to support the mission.
  5. Ask for advice on difficult situations.
  6. Include a game where they share something related to the mission, and the next person shares a connection.
  7. A treasure hunt of info. about your work or website (Hint: don’t make it too hard!)

How Long Are Your Board Meetings?

Range 1 to 2 hours, average 85 minutes

How Long and Often Do You Meet with Your Board Chair? 

  • One hour once a month and ad hoc when needed
  • 1x week for an hour
  • One week ahead for 1 hour at most
  • An hour usually once a month, but often e-mails in between
  • Co-chair meetings—one is every other week for one hour; the other is weekly for one hour
  • I meet with the Executive committee for an hour once a month

Board meetings Live, Hybrid or Virtual?

Virtual- 40 percent with 20 percent considering in person

Hybrid-10 percent

In person-30 percent

Does anyone else have to remind their board of their evaluation?

100 percent, yes

Percent of meeting you tell the truth or at least some of it to your boards?

Range 3-10, average 8.57

Click here to learn more about Karen’s Conversations. If you are a nonprofit executive director or CEO, click here to receive an invitation.

What CEOs are saying about Karen’s Nonprofit CEO Conversations

Karen’s CEO Conversations are a great place to have candid, useful conversations with other nonprofit CEOs.
Mona Duffus
Dawning Family Services

Great call today – very helpful. I picked up lots of very helpful information, so THANK YOU!!!
Diane Nahabedian
Executive Director
Monkey Helpers

Every one of the conversations has been fantastic. I have applied something from each one to my work.
Erica (Mossholder) Klauber
Executive Director
Children’s Craniofacial Association

Karen Eber Davis

Karen Eber Davis provides customized advising and coaching around nonprofit strategy and board development. People leaders hire her to bring clarity to sticky situations, break through barriers that seem insurmountable, and align people for better futures. She is the author of 7 Nonprofit Income Streams and Let's Raise Nonprofit Millions Together.


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