In training and placing business executives and professionals on nonprofit boards, I see which board environments motivate people to perform their best, and which environments crush the spirit right out of well-meaning, enthusiastic, and generous board members.
You see, nonprofit boards are revealing environments because people are there voluntarily. Board members don’t have to be there nor do their best in order to earn a living. They are there primarily to serve their communities, to learn, for the psychic reward, and perhaps somewhat to build their professional networks.
The main point is that nonprofit board members are most likely to give generously of their time, expertise, and money, including opening doors to prospective donors, if the board environment is friendly, supportive, enthusiastic, and appreciative. That tone is set by the leadership–the board chair and CEO of the organization, and has everything to do with how people treat each other on the board.
Think of the ways that people signal their support for each other and the organization, or, on the other hand, squash the spirit. Here are a few recent stories I’ve heard:
See continuation http://bit.ly/2tLE7G