Picture It: How Forty Carrots Keeps Board Members Engaged

January 31, 2012

Forty Carrots Family Center knows how to keep board members engaged.  There are a million ways of measuring “engagement”, but step one is getting people to show up. As an indicator of engagement, The Giving Partner asks your organization about board attendance at your meetings over the last fiscal year.  Forty Carrots stays well above the recommended minimum of 67% attendance.

How do they do it?  Special thanks to Jennifer Abbott, development director at Forty Carrots, for sharing with us today:


A parent works with his child during a library class at Forty Carrots Family Center in Sarasota

Can you picture it? A fifteen year old mother who doesn’t make eye contact and resists participating in playtime with her child. A father of three year old twins who has lost his job and is feeling isolated while caring for the boys all day because they can no longer afford preschool.  A homeless pregnant teen who is so fearful of being a mother that she breaks down in tears.

Sure you can picture it. Those examples of Forty Carrots service in action tug your heartstrings.  But do they engage you? Maybe.  Will you remember their stories tomorrow? Will you share it with others?  Maybe not.

But if you saw those things first hand – and saw Forty Carrots mission in action strengthening these families – would that be even more memorable? Would it engage you more deeply in the mission? Would it make you a more passionate and authentic advocate? You bet!

Every month Forty Carrots arranges for one of its trustees to observe an agency program that interests them or that they know the least about. Then they come back and share their experiences with their fellow trustees at a brief (3 -5 min) Mission Moment during the board meeting.

Judge Thomas Krug, a former Forty Carrots trustee, said “being able to participate in Mission Moment was an invaluable experience for me as a Trustee member of Forty Carrots. As a trustee, you often get lost in the verbiage of what your organization strives to do, but rarely get the opportunity to witness it firsthand.”

“Seeing the goals and objectives laid forth in the mission of Forty Carrots come to life solidified my strong foundation and belief in what we are trying to achieve as a board at Forty Carrots.  It made me more connected to what our goals and objectives are and better able to develop strategies to accomplish them.  I feel I am able to offer much more now as a trustee and offer insights and suggestions based on my Mission Moment experience.  I definitely feel a stronger connection to what we are setting out to achieve.”

Judge Krug shared a powerful Mission Moment with his fellow trustees.  Peer-to-peer, it had a lot of power.  And now when people ask him about the work of Forty Carrots, he has a passionate, authentic story he can tell from his heart. Can you picture it?



One Response to “Picture It: How Forty Carrots Keeps Board Members Engaged”

  1. Reblogged this on and commented:
    This is a great way to engage board members in everyday reminders of the power of your club or association’s mission. Maybe you can set up a schedule for board members to visit practices/games, team end-of-season celebrations, or team fundraising events.

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