Dear board volunteers . . . There is no “I” in board.

mardi gras mask4DonorDreams blog is honored to be hosting the May 2013 Nonprofit Blog Carnival. The theme this month is “Dear board volunteer . . .” and the idea is “If you could write an anonymous letter to a nonprofit board about something they do that drives you crazy, what would that letter look like and what suggested solutions would you include?” If you are a blogger and would like more information on how to participate and submit a post for consideration, please click here to learn more.

I wanted to expand the Nonprofit Blog Carnival concept in May. So, I reached out to real non-profit people and asked them to also write an anonymous letter to their board volunteers. These folks are executive directors, fundraising professionals, board members, donors, community volunteers, consultants and front line staff. I promised everyone anonymity in exchange for their submissions.

We will celebrate May’s Nonprofit Blog Carnival on Wednesday, May 29, 2013. In the meantime, I hope you enjoy this real look at real issues that our community deals with on a daily basis.

Here is today’s letter:

Dear Board Members,

I am thrilled that you hired me as your Execute Director and  entrusted me with developing this organization and moving us to the next level.  It remains an exciting opportunity for all involved. 

I have one little request to make:  please let me do my job without fear that you’ll undo the things I’m attempting to put into place.  It becomes difficult  when I begin initiating policies/procedures and practices that received BOD approval only to discover that there are conversations that occur outside the Boardroom that derail activities that are under way. 

It would also be helpful if each of you could remember that just because you have an idea or you have a strong reaction to something, you don’t necessarily get to have your way or make unilateral decisions.  We have processes for decision making within our bylaws and they are there for a purpose. 

Board meetings and committee meetings are venues for dialogue and discussion.  If you disagree, speak up so that you are heard.  If you oppose a decision, please respect your colleagues on the Board and honor the group decision.  If you continually  find yourself in disagreement with your colleagues on the Board, perhaps it is time to resign.  It could be a sign that your job as a Board member is now done.

New-to-the-party Patty

If you have some advice for the author of our anonymous letter, please be respectful and share it in the comment box at the bottom of this post.

Here’s to your health!

Erik Anderson
Founder & President, The Healthy Non-Profit LLC!/eanderson847

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