Roundtable of Non Profit Board Chairs - tips for meetings, fundraising, and diversity

Hi All

I attended HSC’s roundtable yesterday and took some notes. Sharing here. Good stuff on process, fundraising, and diversity.

If you have questions, lemme know. X

Hmmm. I cant seem to paste in my link. Here is a cut and paste though I’ll likely write more over the day…

HSC Board Chairs Roundtable, 19 nov 2015

Facilitated by Scott Heyman, about 25 non profit board chairs in attendance


Boards need a policy manual but many haven’t written one (though policy’s may be scattered throughout meeting minutes).

It’s important for board members and board chair to articulate expectations of board members. Typical expectations: most meetings, 10 hours a year (?), and attend major events (2-4) throughout the year is typical.

Board Chairs need to carve out time at meetings for “Building a Future” discussions. Otherwise there is an over abundant focus on activities, not results.

Board Chairs need to make sure that all members speak/are heard.

Find a facilitator for tough meetings.

Some boards have an abridged copy of Robert’s Rules at every meeting. One of Robert’s Rules is to make a motion first, then have a discussion.

Some boards don’t vote. Watch out for that.

Find a facilitator for tough meetings.

Committees - you want to disperse power as much as possible.

Some board members aren’t good at asking for money. This doesn’t mean they can’t help. For example, one member might host a gathering at their house where a potential donor and a fundraising board member might talk.

Informal face to face conversations about the org with no ask are super effective for priming supporters. Align their values with the values of the org. (Ask them questions). HSC has workshops on fundraising. I bet they are worth attending.

It’s important that the board be diverse and recruit diverse members. The most effective way to do this is similar to the process for priming donors: face to face conversations, talk up the organization, align their values with the values of the org. Then ask the person to serve next time you see them. They almost always say “Yes” or “I can’t serve now but get back to me in a year.”

This was mentioned as a great, short, sweet resource

Thank you!!