Getting Your Board Involved in Communications

Boards are notorious at nonprofit organizations. Some are great, some not so great, but there seems to be a clear division between board and staff. Whether you are the communications officer, fundraiser or both, it's important to have your board involved with your communications. In fact, your board is one of your communications tools in itself.

So what are ways that you can get your board to communicate your message for you?

1. Set Specific Goals

It's important to set specific goals that you want to achieve and share those with your board. Do you want each board member to find five prospects? Invite five people to an event? Get the word out about a specific campaign? Whatever your goals are make them as specific as possible.

2. Set Specific Timeline

What is the timeline for these goals? Don't make it open ended or it will never get completed. Instead, set a reasonable timeline that ensures your goals will be achieved.

3. Define the How

Define how you want the board members to achieve these goals. Is it by making phone calls? Posting on Facebook? Meeting face to face?

4. Determine Total Amount of Time Needed

Let's say your campaign is three weeks. If you mention the time, board members may balk at the total time for the campaign and insist they don't have time. Instead break down the tasks to the time it will take them. If it only takes 15 or 20 mins in total, spread over three weeks, that seems reasonable.

5. Provide Materials

Don't throw your board members off the deep end. Provide them with as many materials as possible. And mix it up, according to each board member. If one board member is uncomfortable talking without a script, provide one.

6. Provide Encouragement

Encourage but don't harass your board members. If you come off sounding pushy, they will lose interest in the project. It should be as much their project as well.

7. Share the End Results

Board members want to know that the efforts they put in were met with success. So don't be hesistant in sharing the results of the campaign, whether good or bad.

What other ways do you encourage your board members to communicate? Do they participate or not at all? Sound off below.


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