There are many ways to measure a Board of Directors’ effectiveness with financial health of the organization right up top with a growing membership. But, few understand that much thought should go into what we call Board Best Practices. Here are just a few mistakes we’ve seen in our work with new association boards.
Not being aware of demographics –
Everyday 10,000 baby boomers turn 65. That means that in 2020, 70 million people will cross that threshold. What does this mean for your association and your board? Do you have a good balance of ages, years in the industry, and diverse perspectives? Who is near retirement on your board?
Not identifying your replacement –
Just like in our private lives, board members should have a succession plan. What will your role be after your term is up? Will you stay as a consultant? Continue to come to the open meetings to offer your perspective, if asked? Most importantly, board members should be on the lookout for potential replacements about halfway through the term. Ideally, a potential board member is invited to at least a few months of meetings before being asked to commit to the job.
Not insisting on board training –
Whenever a new member is integrated into the board, it would be an appropriate time to have the entire board join them for a board training session. It is vital for the newest member and acts as a reminder for the sitting members. Discussion often adds richness to the relationships among the members and promising ideas sprout from “the new guy” asking innocent questions.
Not having a good balance of regular and associate members –
Do you have a board that is tipped in favor of what most organization call associates? Those are people representing services they hope to offer (sell) to your rank and file membership. But, if the general membership perceives the board of directors as always pitching something to them at social events, your attendance will plummet. What is the right ratio? This should be in the bylaws.
Not keeping track of who has passcodes –
Besides your association management firm, who has passcodes to your online banking? Your credit card processing? Your social media channel accounts? Should they be changed periodically? Where is that record kept? If the treasurer cycles off the board, or becomes incapacitated, is there a backup officer who can keep business matters moving? Simple questions and simple solutions, but few think them through.
Huntington Association Management can help your organization with these and other Best Practices. Don’t wait.