In the November 2010 article "Keeping Your Board Engaged for Your Cause," author Gail Perry recommends that you try the following strategies to keep your board members fully engaged:
1. Be sure your board members know what you are aiming to accomplish this year.
Put it in real numbers. For example:
How many kids will we send to camp?
How many meals do we want to serve?
How many scholarships will we award to bright young students?
2. Be sure they know what the impact will be if you can make your plan happen.
We'll help kids who go to camp be healthier, have better self-esteeem, and do better in school.
We will help help hungry people get nutritious meals right here in our community.
We'll help our brightest minds so they can help solve tomorrow's problems.
3. Be sure every board member knows what his or her job is to make the plan happen.
If you want to keep them engaged, you've got to give them clear actions. Everybody gets to have a role in implementing your plan. For example:
Some board members are in charge of phoning donors to say thank you.
Others are seeking sponsors for your annual gala.
Others are in charge of enlisting more volunteers.
Others are serving on a task force to identify VIP prospective donors.
Others may be serving on a governmental relations committee to strengthen your relationships with elected officials.
The deal is this: EVERYBODY on the board has a job and is in action for the cause.
4. Keep in close touch with your board members each week or month, letting them know of your successes.
Success breeds success.
Good news stimulates monentum and makes everybody happy.
It encourages action.
Peer pressure will also encourage everyone to step up and do their job, too.
Also ask for help frequently from baord members if you need it. But ask for specific things.