How to Keep Your Board Members Engaged?

By: Karen Jess and Stacey NelsonGroup photo

When your board consists of volunteers, keeping them engaged and “volunteering,” can be a challenge. But, from what we’ve seen, an engaged board is critical to your organization’s success. An engaged board leads to more movement, more donations, more doors opened, and more spreading of your all-important mission. But, engagement can be a difficult goal.

In a recent newsletter, we invited recipients to take a survey and asked the question “What method(s) do you use to get and keep your board members engaged?” The common theme among responses? “Regular.” As in, regular communication via email and regular in-person meetings. One respondent even noted that, on a regular basis, they try to send along thought-provoking articles to their board, to keep them informed and keep them actively thinking about the nonprofit.

Other tips that we’ve seen (and agree with!) are:

From Is Your Nonprofit Board Bored?:

  • Using an outside facilitator for discussion of issues.
  • Periodic off-site meeting retreat.

From How to Engage Your Board Members – and Keep Them That Way:

  • Provide a thorough orientation.
  • Help them see their efforts as critical to your nonprofit’s success (or they’ll take their skills to an organization that they feel will better benefit from what they have to offer).

What other useful tricks have you employed or seen employed that work especially well?


RELATED: Our firm is hosting a webinar on April 23rd on the topic of how to get your board involved in fundraising – one very important area for engagement. Please click here to learn more.

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