Board Focus
2 Things Your Board Should (and Should Not) Be Focusing On Right Now

By Dustin McKissen, April 05, 2016

Whether your nonprofit is a credit union, community bank, trade association, or small charity, the reality is the members of your board of directors have a limited amount of time and energy to dedicate toward your organization.

As a result, you need to make the most of your directors’ time, talent, and ability to contribute. However, boards often end up spending their time focused on things that do not make the most of their skills and assets.

To help, BoardPaq has compiled a list of 2 things your board should focus on, along with 2 things your board should not be focusing on:

Revenue: Your board should focus on creating a strategic revenue generation plan.

Ultimately, whether you generate revenue via donations, memberships, grants, or user fees, your organization requires money to keep its doors open. Generating revenue on a consistent and growing basis requires a strategy. Too often nonprofits of all types experience years of dwindling revenues, yet are unwilling to take a hard look at their current business model and be willing to make changes.

Rather than passively watch its revenue decline, a nonprofit should use the skills, experience, and business knowledge of its board of directors to develop a strategic revenue generation plan.

Revenue: Your board should not chase trends in the name of generating revenue.

It may make sense for your board to emphasize developing a following on Instagram or Snapchat, or try and raise money via a crowdfunding campaign.

However, engaging in those activities only makes sense if it serves a strategic purpose.

When it comes to fundraising, do not chase trends or spend time on activity that does not serve a strategic revenue generation goal.

Governance: Your board should be focused on a strategic succession plan, and actively groom future governance leaders.

One of the worst things a board can do is fail to actively groom and develop future leaders and create a succession plan. Your organization needs new, diverse opinions and perspectives joining the board, and failing to plan for the future creates a scenario where a board stagnates.

A lack of fresh ideas results in a lack of innovative thought, and a lack of innovative thought ultimately leads to an inability to create the kind of strategic revenue generation plan mentioned above.

Failing to develop a succession plan can also create a reputation that the board of directors is an exclusive club that serves a small number of stakeholders.

If your board of directors hasn’t already done so, it needs to start today by creating a formal leadership development and succession plan.

Your board should not spend any more time than is absolutely necessary on governance administration.

You need your board to be focused on strategy, innovation, revenue generation, and recruiting and developing future board leaders.

That is a lot to ask of people who are volunteers.

As a result, it’s important to be as efficient as possible with your board’s time. One of the best ways to free your board to focus more time on value-added contributions is to make serving on a board as easy, efficient, and convenient as possible. BoardPaq, the cost effective board portal of choice for a wide variety of nonprofits, will help free your directors to focus on why they joined your board in the first place:

To create a lasting legacy through a dynamic organization that makes a difference in the community for years to come.

Back to Search Results
See the full list of articles

Dustin McKissen is the founder of McKissen + Company, an association management and marketing firm. He is a Certified Association Executive and has served as an executive or consultant to a wide variety trade associations, professional societies, and nonprofits.
Search Blogs