1. Unanimous board votes should not happen often. Differing opinions are healthy.
  2. For full transparency, open your board meetings up to others. Anyone should be able to attend and listen. Invite key volunteers, donors, staff and partners.
  3. Bypass board cliques and develop rapport by randomizing board seating arrangements. Strategically place name tags in different places each meeting.
  4. Encourage volunteerism! Track and celebrate individual and collective volunteer hours for the board.
  5. Routinely conduct a 15–30-minute executive session. Board meeting is fact. Executive Session is typically opinion.
  6. What have you read lately to be a better board member? Create a Director’s Professional Book Reading List.
    1. Check out NACD: National Association of Corporate Directors.  $1250 per year.
  7. Appoint a parliamentarian who navigates bylaws, meeting rules, strategic plan, keeps the clock, etc.
  8. Create a living organizational notebook for legal, historical, institutional capital, etc.
  9. Create Board job descriptions.
  10. Read 76 pages of NC Non-Profit Act – Chapter 55.
  11. Consider Legal, Moral and Behavioral Requirements.
  12. Create and update your organization’s Succession Plan.
  13. Develop a functional and meaningful on-boarding process.
  14. Use confidential ballots for Director Elections.
  15. Create and update documents annually: Cash Management, Gift Acceptance, Business Development Plan, Strategic Plan, Succession Plan, Nominating Procedures, On-Boarding Procedures, Decision-Making Procedures, Separation of Authority, Crisis Management Plan (What could go wrong? Everything.), Separation of Authority Policy, Conflict of Interest, Whistle Blower and Planned Giving Policy.
  16. Ask board members to provide their favorite wisdom quotes for future board members to read. Add them to a wall in the boardroom and on the website.
  17. Share New Board Member Packages at least 2 weeks in advance of 1st Make job descriptions a part of the package.
  18. Identify organizational values and have board members invest in and develop culture.
  19. Create a Talent Recruitment Plan and database for new attracting new board members.
  20. Develop an Advisory Committee for retiring board members who remain invested and to also create a path for future board member superstars.
  21. Meeting agendas should be developed and rehearsed by ED and the Board Chair.
  22. Evaluate Term Limits. Each year, a board member’s role (work, wealth and wisdom) should increase.

Musings and Calls to Action by Chuck Re Corr