April is National Volunteer Month! This month is all about honoring and celebrating the hard work that your volunteers do for you all year round. Here at Fordable Fundraising, we are focusing on some of your most important volunteers: your board of directors! Your board of directors are volunteers, and just like your program volunteers, they deserve to be appreciated. Board members are people too, and small gestures go a long way.
First things first, if your board is under construction or going through a transformation, read our blog about fostering board engagement. There are five simple ways metamorphose your engagement level from your board that we discuss in detail. Start here first! One of the best ways to appreciate your board is to create a structured and productive environment for them to thrive and flourish on behalf of your mission. Once you’ve done that, then give the following ideas a try!
1. Thoughtful and timely communication
Best way to immediately show your appreciation for someone? Honor their time! This means responding to emails in a timely manner, making productive use of board meetings and not running long if you can help it. Simple, but effective.
2. Plan an appreciation event or activity for your board
This is easier when there isn’t a global pandemic happening, but even still, a virtual appreciation event sets the stage for positive board interaction and celebration. If you go the virtual route, be sure to set an agenda for the event so as to avoid the awkward moments of everyone looking blankly at their screen waiting for something to happen or someone to talk. Even something as simple as creating a Jeopardy Game can go a long way to build camaraderie among your leadership team.
3. Be a part of their lives
This goes along with tip #1! While you’re practicing timely communication, include birthdays, anniversaries, or any other life events in your communication. These are real relationships you are building with people and it starts with your board. Remember, you get out what you put in. Leaders need love too.
4. Publicly acknowledge the work of your board
The easiest way to do this is to post something on social media. Oftentimes the work that board members do happens behind the scenes. Bring their hard work to the forefront and tell your audience just how amazing they are.
5. Provide opportunities for development
Board members have an important job, and like with your paid staff, providing opportunities for members to develop their skills so they can continue kicking butt is an excellent way to show how much they mean to your organization.
Your board puts forth their time, energy, hearts, and minds into advancing your mission. Make it your mission to put forth the same amount into ensuring they know how greatly you value them. Not just during National Volunteer Month, but all year round.
If you still aren’t sure about your board appreciation strategies, or if you have uncertainties around your board structure and responsibilities, let’s talk. Fordable Fundraising’s consulting services are a great place to start if you want to build and keep the board of your dreams. Schedule your FREE consultation call today!