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From Information to Action: Four Uses for Your Profile in the Boardroom

January 15, 2013

Let’s talk about how your profile in The Giving Partner can have some real value for your board. Here are four ways you can put it to use.

  1. Inform Prospective Board Members.
    Before you invite a leader to join your board, ask her to review your profile. What questions does she have about your programs, finances and management? Does she have any thoughts about your board’s performance based on the board attendance, board giving, or your conflict of interest policy?  It’s an important exercise for the potential board member and for your organization. It is a good sign when your candidate is asking thoughtful questions.
  2. Orient New Board Members.
    Consider including your profile in your board notebook and orientation packet for new board members. Remember, you want to empower your new board members with the information they need to speak intelligently about your nonprofit in the community and know what others know about your organization.
  3. Build Discussion at Your Board Meetings.
    Take part of your profile (like one program, your needs statement, or your three greatest funding sources) and spend 15 minutes reviewing it at your board meeting. Engage your board members in discussion. Would they like to see that program in action? Did they realize the five greatest needs you shared are so pressing? How can they help attract funding for them?
  4. Set Goals.
    Make your board members super aware of the governance section, understanding what your organization may look like to potential funders and donors. If your board attendance rate is high (80% or above), that’s cause for celebration. Perhaps you can do even better and want to make that a board goal. If your board composition needs a little enhancing, take a look at how you want to build diversity and why. If the percentage of board members contributing financially to your organization is 100%, make sure your board knows how much their contributions are valued. On the other hand, if participation in giving is less than 100%, you can use this public profile to inspire contributions from everyone. (Remember, it’s not the amount that matters—we’re asking if everyone on the board contributes.)

You could also start very simply by asking whether your board members know their names are listed in The Giving Partner! We have encountered some curious board leaders over the last few months who were unaware that their organizations even have profiles.

Since this public representation of your nonprofit is available to funders, donors and everyone else, you want your board to be familiar with it.

Let’s put those profiles to work for you to make your jobs easier!

-Susie Bowie
Director of Nonprofit Strategy
Community Foundation of Sarasota County

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