I have attended more than my share of Nonprofit Board meetings only to watch everyone start to glaze over, check-out, or otherwise pull out smartphones and other devices when I present the financial reports. It’s not that I’m THAT boring, really, I promise, I’m not THAT boring. It’s well, all those details, same-old-story, and, who can understand the reports anyway?!
So I loved the idea used by Karen Nemsick, Executive Director of Rebuilding Together San Francisco. Every month, Karen distributes the financial reports to her Board and then, on a rotating basis, each member of the Board presents the financials to the rest of the group. Brilliant. Of course Karen meets with the Treasurer and Board member before the meeting to help walk through the issues, questions and interpretation of the financials. In the end, each Board member has to understand the financial reports and position of the organization to be able to tell the Board where they stand.
The beauty of this idea is you are building a strong knowledge-base in a manageable way. After a year of monthly Board meetings, you will have increased the number of a financially-savvy leaders on your Board.
Board Leadership is not a title to give lip-service to supporting a good cause. Leaders don’t just make an appearance to be able to say they were there. Most Board Leaders want to show up fully engaged — to participate, to co-create, to inspire. This gives them the confidence to lead.
- Annette Cook