With inspiration from the Late Show with David Letterman, this week’s article is all about the reasons why an organization might NOT need a Consultant to help with their Board of Directors. Counting backwards from 10, here we go:
The #10 reason a nonprofit would NOT need a Board Consultant:
All board and leadership staff have been trained on the philosophy behind nonprofits and their governance. Understanding the different roles of the agency leadership is key to being effective. Furthermore, it helps each volunteer and staff know and understands their role in leading the organization.
The #9 reason a nonprofit would NOT need a Board Consultant:
The agency has established strategies and regularly monitors progress towards them. There are strategies tied specifically to the work of the volunteers in advancing the organization.
The #8 reason a nonprofit would NOT need a Board Consultant:
One or more volunteers is actively paying attention to and driving the health and culture of the board. Not giving attention to the culture does not mean that one doesn’t exist. It simply means that it has evolved on its own. Without intentionality, a culture generally does not move in a positive direction. Additionally, this individual or group can establish systems to drive board accountability and productivity.
The #7 reason a nonprofit would NOT need a Board Consultant:
Board meetings are super productive and well attended. Fifty percent of the meeting content is made up of generative discussions where all volunteers contribute.
The #6 reason a nonprofit would NOT need a Board Consultant:
Governance volunteers understand and own their responsibility for the success of the organization. The board owns the success of the agency in the same way that the owner of a for-profit business owns its success.
The #5 reason a nonprofit would NOT need a Board Consultant:
The board and staff leaders partner to drive the success of the agency. While, technically, the board supervises the Executive Director or CEO, the dynamics need to be more of a partnership. Neither governance nor operations can be effective without partnering with the other.
The #4 reason a nonprofit would NOT need a Board Consultant:
Board members and staff can see the connection between the work they do and the mission impact they provide. Connecting the dots between tasks, projects, discussions, and programming with the mission and strategies of the organization motivates and maintains focus.
The #3 reason a nonprofit would NOT need a Board Consultant:
Serving on the Board of Directors is a two-way street, where volunteers contribute, and also benefit. Any agency that just has their hand out looking for what their volunteers can give, will likely struggle to keep volunteers. Benefits to the board members include personal growth and development, networking, mentoring, recognition, and more. Sometimes they even get some really great agency swag!
The #2 reason a nonprofit would NOT need a Board Consultant:
The agency doesn’t really need to think about their future or impact. This may be the case if an agency has a crystal ball and can see the future. Or if they are really close to achieving the mission and vision of the organization and their work is almost complete.
And, the #1 reason a nonprofit would NOT need a Board Consultant:
The organization already has more money, partners, supporters, volunteers and staff than they need. In this situation, an organization might not need a strong and healthy board to tell their story, raise money, forge relationships, and advance the cause. Good for them!
All of this being said, the clients that are doing a good job with their Board of Directors, and want to continue to get better, are some of my favorites. Every board has the potential to grow and improve. Making our world a better place is hard work. The better the health of a board is, the more equipped it will be to make a difference!
When we are working to grow and improve, an outside perspective can be beneficial. Email me at Kim@Athena-CoCo.com, or schedule a Discovery Call if you would like to discuss ways to advance your Board of Directors and the work of your agency.
Kim is a mom, lover of being active and the outdoors, and helper of nonprofit leaders.