A good board member is enthusiastic about the goals of your organization and has a large network of friends, donors and colleagues. They are committed to meeting their legal obligations and have the determination required to tackle difficult issues and set direction, even if it requires challenging other members on the board. They must also be imaginative and come up with fresh ideas.
Board members are responsible for a range of roles, from fundraising to networking to making sure that meeting materials are reviewed and the questions are drafted before each session. The best board members take their responsibilities seriously and are always prepared for meetings and events. They eagerly anticipate an agenda for a board or committee meeting and are quick to read reports and other papers ahead of the meeting. They mark all meetings in their calendars and create automatic reminders. They can be a huge asset to the board.
Top board directors are able to see things that others do not. They are able to assist the CEO think about possible pitfalls or problems that may arise from certain choices and encourage the CEO to think further into the future than is evident right now. They’re also happy to coach fellow board members and be mentored by themselves.
The most successful board members have an open mind and an ongoing thirst for knowledge. They’re willing to take advantage of educational programs for nonprofit board members, take part in conferences and workshops which can help them know their responsibilities and connect with other board members who are also learning. They’re also keen on utilizing technology tools that can help them perform better. For instance they’re likely adopt an online portal for boards that can improve the flow of information and ensure that important documents are safe.