Ep 41: What Every New Board Member Needs to Understand

nonprofits are messy

Maybe you are about to attend your first board meeting as a board member.

Maybe you have been to a few meetings are just simply not clear.

It all seems daunting. It was flattering to be asked, right?

You are deeply passionate about the mission of the organization and the work it does.

At least I sure hope so.

But what should you expect? What does the organization expect from you?

This episode has no other guest. Just yours truly. And I chose this topic and format because I’d love for this podcast to be played for new board members – maybe at an orientation. Or perhaps at a board retreat when you are setting (or resetting expectations).

In this episode:

  • Is a board position actually a “job”?
  • Should the board consider itself at the center or periphery of a nonprofit?
  • What a good board orientation needs to accomplish.
  • Your primary job as a board member (it’s probably not what you think)
  • Why you don’t need to know rich people to be a great board member
  • Is it actually important to donate to your own organization?
  • What board members should be doing at your annual gala
  • 20 things every board member ought to understand

Episode Links:

Joan Garry
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Joan Garry

Widely known as the "Dear Abby" of nonprofit leadership, Joan works with board and staff as a strategic advisor, crisis manager, change agent and strategic planner. Joan also teaches at the University of Pennsylvania with a focus on nonprofit communications and leadership.
Joan Garry
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  • Suzanne Coholic

    Great Podcast and very informative!

  • Bob Stephenson

    Emailed this to my board. I am afraid we do a very poor job of board orientation but I am determine we will improve.

  • Brilliant and everything I need moving forward! One of my goals as we move forward trying to get new board members! Thank you!!