First Life – Your Board

Consider the following nine weeks of posts as – the Nine Ways You Can Die as a Fundraiser.

Method #1 – Allow your board of directors to perform poorly.

Picture this – a group of pastors are gathering for a weekly Bible study in preparation for their sermons. For a time, the study of Exodus 15 hours as expected (“the complaining Israelites” – look it up!).

But suddenly, one of the pastors throws her hands in the air, and in an exasperated tone, exclaims, “My church council is just like those people in the desert – always complaining, complaining, and never leading.”

Trust me, it happens. I’ve done it myself. Many of us pastors and plenty of other executives have had moments of cynicism, when it seems that our board, the very leaders we trust to work alongside us in fulfilling our mission, just can’t seem to function appropriately.

Executives need to take responsibility for this problem. If the board is performing poorly, it’s our problem. I’m not to assigning blame, but responsibility.

Give clear expectations, tell them why they’re on the board, help them see what they need to do. Ask them to be present for meetings, and above all, be very selective when it comes time to replenish the board roll.

If you’re not taking responsibility for your board – you’re losing one of your precious nine lives.

Next week – #2 – clear expectations.