Thursday, April 4, 2013

The Powerful Potential of Tab 10

One of the helpful resources in the ECFA Governance Toolbox Series No. 1: Recruiting Board Members is a sample table of contents for a “Board Nominee Orientation Notebook.”

I encourage boards to use this 31-tab binder as a tool during all four recruitment phases: Cultivation, Recruitment, Orientation and Engagement. (Why 31 tabs? Because Staples sells 31-tab dividers!)

Once completed (actually, I’ve never seen a complete one—it’s always a work in progress), the notebook is a treasured “one-stop location” for all organizational documents.  Trust me—your board prospect will be impressed and even assume your board has their act together! Here are just seven of the 31 tabs:
   • Current Board Members (mini-bios) and Committee Structure
   • Bylaws and Articles of Incorporation
   • Board Policies Manual
   • Board Member Annual Affirmation Statement (and Conflict of Interest document)
   • Annual Budget, Current Financial Reports and Audited Financial Statements
   • ECFA Membership Profile, Public Statistics and the IRS Form 990
   • Strategic Plan (Executive Summary and a one-page “placemat”)

All this is good, but it’s likely you have never leveraged the powerful potential of Tab 10, the list of your “Former Board Members and Board Chairs.”

A year ago in my blog post, Begin With the End in Mind, I referenced Rebekah Basinger’s insightful thoughts, “After Bye-Bye Board Member, Then What?” Here’s her full article, “After Thank You and Good-Bye: The Challenge of Holding on to the Hearts and Attention of Former Board Members.”

I was reminded of this powerful potential again yesterday when I received a packet of information sent to former ECFA board members. (According to the “Director’s Award” plaque on my office wall, I served six years on the ECFA board from 1989 to 1995.) Dan Busby, ECFA’s president, communicates intentionally and regularly with former board members—with perfect doses of “inside info” and encouraging news. I always open his mail first.

I’ve served on numerous boards, 
yet this is the only board 
that keeps me in the loop.  

Kudos to Dan and ECFA! (Memo to CEOs: a monthly donor appeal letter doesn’t qualify for “keeping me in the loop.”)

IDEA: inspire a current board member to create an intentional plan for keeping former board members in the loop. Christ-centered organizations can rightly expect former board members to be some of their best prayer warriors, but it will take creativity and intentionality.  If you do this, you will experience the powerful Kingdom potential of Tab 10!

QUESTION: What’s your next step for leveraging the God-honoring heart and passion of former board members?

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