Aug 5, 2014
Board members are driven to get involved with a nonprofit because of the cause it supports and the connection they feel with the organization. However, their journey with the nonprofit has only begun. Onboarding new directors or members takes strategy and structure. Planning a proper welcoming process will lay a strong foundation for leaders and give them a better picture of internal procedures. The faster they understand the organization inside and out, the better they will be able to lead it to a promising future.
While spending time on small details may seem tedious, a proper education right off the bat will lead to better direction from board members. Nonprofit Quarterly stated that a slow and steady orientation means faster work later on down the road. Transition committees will want to encourage new board members to develop relationships within the organization, get hands-on training in different areas of the nonprofit and study the donor audience closely. A strong education allows board members to get involved on a much deeper level and immerses them into the unique culture that your organization has.
Employees, volunteers and board members alike should all know their proper roles in building a strong campaign. This is especially important with new board members. It may be wise to assign specific employees to connect directly with board members so communication is never muddled and designate a transition committee to allow for a smooth onboarding process.
Oftentimes, board members and employees work separately to accomplish the same goals. This may work for a short time; however, a more cohesive approach to setting and achieving a goal in your nonprofit is smart. Establishing a team atmosphere from day one makes for a prosperous time together.
Throw a party
Let new board members know how grateful you are for them. A reception, party or personal event provides an informal atmosphere for people to get to know each other and relax after a long day of work. The Non-profit Toolbox suggests hosting a reception because it starts relationships off on the right foot and encourages employees and tenured board members to share advice.
Onboarding processes make or break a nonprofit. Each and every organization is special and functions in its own unique way. As new members grasp the small details, they will better recognize areas of need and leadership.