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Building the Ultimate Board: Maximizing Impact


AAA Boards and the culture ... A board with a AAA Rating is one where every board member is ... Commitment to AAA at the board level spills into the ... – PowerPoint PPT presentation

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Title: Building the Ultimate Board: Maximizing Impact

Building the Ultimate BoardMaximizing Impact
  • Kay Sprinkel Grace, Presenter
  • April 24, 2009 830 1030 a.m.
  • Hillsboro, Oregon

What We Will Cover
  • Welcome, introductions, overview and participant
  • Defining an ultimate board or board member
  • AAA Boards and the culture of philanthropy
  • Discussion of leadership assets and deficits in
    your organizations and remedies/strategies
  • Mission, vision and values and board motivation
  • Putting it all together implementing these
  • Summary and close

Defining The Ultimate Board and Board Member
  • Impossible Dream?
  • How does your board measure up?
  • Discussion

Ultimate Board Members Are
  • Wise
  • Visionary
  • Assured that being a board member is one of the
    most enriching experiences theyll ever have
  • Aware that service is frustrating at times and
    exhilarating at others
  • Engaged in the idea that the role makes demands,
    but gives huge rewards

Ultimate Board Members Are(2)
  • Cognizant of how the experience will connect them
    with people who will add new dimensions to their
  • Confident they are helping provide resources for
    the present, and hope for the future
  • What else?
  • Has this been your experience?

How Satisfied Are You or Your Members?
  • Three key factors determine long-term
    satisfaction with board service
  • How much board members believe in the issues the
    organization is addressing
  • How well the values of a board member match those
    espoused by the organization and its leadership
  • How motivating the board finds the tasks to which
    theyre assigned (AAA)

Helping Board Members Evolve
  • Motivate them by using the reasons they were
    recruited expertise, connections,
    representation from new constituencies, previous
    experience as a starting point for building
    board service
  • Offer information and presentations that will
    expand their knowledge and inspire them
  • Help them stay close to the programs to stay
    renewed, and give them great impact stories to
  • Connect them with board members of other
  • Help them become informed advocates, passionate

Qualities of an Effective Board
  • Boards that work, work
  • Standards for effectiveness that span different
    types of boards
  • Clear mission that is revisited often and
  • Shared vision for the organization and its
    potential impact
  • Shared values among the board members that align
    with the values of the organization
  • Goals and strategies are defined and endorsed

Collective Wisdom, Individual Initiative
  • In addition to individual responsibilities, a
    duty to ensure that the board acts effectively as
    a whole
  • Implement decisions once made
  • Each individuals role is strengthened when s/he
    participates as part of the group
  • Subvert mediocrity

Board or Bored? Check Out Your Meetings
  • Do your board meetings
  • Promote a sense of teamwork
  • Reinforce the shared vision
  • Afford time to share stories and successes
  • Connect board members with the work of staff
  • Offer stimulation for ideas
  • Provide opportunities for social interaction
  • Reinforce the sense of the mission and its
    importance in the community?

Role of the CEO
  • Both leader and subject relative to the board
  • Drucker A team of equals
  • Dangers burnout, feeling unappreciated, boards
    that micromanage rather than govern, too little
    help with fund raising, below market pay scale
  • Power sharing what it takes to keep the
    delicate balance
  • Clear understanding
  • Well defined roles
  • Good communication practices
  • Mutual respect

Board Members Resisting the Urge to Micromanage
  • Even if you have great management experience,
    dont try to run the organization
    micromanagement is time consuming, frustrating
    and nonproductive
  • The boards job is to govern it helps capable
    CEOs flourish

Resisting the Urge to Micromanage - 2
  • Leverage board member skills through positive
  • Strategic planning
  • Development and fundraising
  • Helping with performance objectives
  • Working with the CEO and others on progress,
    planning and other reports
  • Other skills or expertise they bring to the Board
    room table

Gathering the Ultimate Board
  • Recruitment and Retention of
  • Board Members

  • Work from a recruitment matrix based on the
    composition of the sitting board and the needs
    indicated in your strategic plan
  • Continually think about and provide names of
    potential board members
  • Recommend, dont recruit (use a process and a
  • Get to know potential board members
  • Reach out to new members
  • Model ultimate board membership through your
    actions and involvement

The Most Important Committee of the Board
  • Board Development (Nominating, Committee on
    Trustees, Committee on Directors)
  • Determines the future of the organization by its
    selection of board members
  • Prepares and implements the policy, plan and
    procedures for board recruitment
  • Encourages full board participation in submitting
  • Prepares and presents a slate of nominees and
  • Organizes and conducts board orientation
  • Builds relationships with board members
  • Spearheads annual self-evaluation

When a Board Member Isnt Working
  • A challenging decision to de-enlist
  • Be comforted most uninvolved board members are
    looking for a gracious way out
  • Annual meetings with CEO, board chair and each
    board member provide opportunities to prevent
    drift or address the issue
  • Prune the deadwood, but find out why it is dying

When Board Members Resign
  • Reasons people leave boards
  • Management has failed to meet financial
    performance standards
  • Mission, vision and values have shifted or not
    been followed
  • Other leaders have succumbed to mediocrity or
    ambition (or abused power)
  • Time, circumstances or health have changed
  • The organization is no longer a priority for them
  • Resignation is a last resort

Performance Factors
  • Part content, part style and part dynamics
  • Content
  • Make good decisions, raise money, champion the
    organization and do the boards work
  • Style
  • Uniquely your own
  • Dynamics
  • Working with others to make your board work is
    what makes the quality difference

The Impact Board Members Have
  • Powerful impact
  • Organizational capacity increases
  • Help create a dream board strong, dynamic and
  • The ultimate board member
  • Draws on his/her gifts and talents willingly
  • Offers his/her network of contacts appropriately
  • Thinks beyond the boundaries when confronted with
    a challenge yet thinks procedurally when the
    organization needs to steady its course

Creating a AAA Board
  • Building a culture of philanthropy

What is a Culture of Philanthropy?
  • An attitude, more than anything involves the
    full development team (Board, staff, non-board
    volunteers, donor champions)
  • Organization-wide commitment to mission, vision
    and values and building lasting relationships
  • An understanding that each interaction with
    anyone from the community is part of the
    development process

Culture of Philanthropy? - 2
  • Everyone thinks development (of relationships)
  • All staff and all board and non-board volunteers
    understand the importance and purpose of your
  • Visitors, employees, donors and volunteers feel
    the culture when they are with you

Defining a AAA Board
  • A board with a AAA Rating is one where every
    board member is motivated to be an Ambassador,
    Advocate and/or Asker tapping into board member
    motivation and designing assignments that are
    specific and geared to the board members
  • Commitment to AAA at the board level spills into
    the entire organization, engaging staff in
    appropriate and supportive roles as well

How Board Members Help Create a Culture of
  • Ambassadors
  • Making friends
  • Building relationships
  • Advocates
  • Making the case (formal and informal)
  • Key to solid board recruitment
  • Askers
  • Making the ask
  • Front line fund raisers

  • A role everyone can (and should) play
  • Starring roles in relationship building through
    cultivation of prospective donors and stewardship
    of continuing donor-investors
  • Need to be well oriented and coached in the
    message and the facts
  • Masters of the elevator speech (and the
    elevator question)
  • Catalysts for donor-investor renewal
  • Are all of your board members Ambassadors?

  • On the golf course or in the car pool these
    individuals are strategic in their information
  • They may also advocate for your organization on a
    more formal basis with government, another
    organization with which you are partnering or an
    institutional funder
  • Are informed not only of the case for support,
    but also are well integrated into your strategic
    plan and vision
  • Are well coached on desired results of the
    advocacy and how to handle objections
  • Do you have good Advocates on your board?

  • Enjoy asking
  • Well informed, well trained
  • Matched with prospective donors (or current
    donor-investors) for maximum possibility of
  • Teamed with another board asker or staff leader
  • Staff organizes the ask so the Askers focus can
    be on the single purpose of getting (or renewing)
    the gift in a way that builds the relationship
  • Benefit from the work of the Ambassadors and
  • Do you have Askers on your board?

The AAA Rating
  • Some will do it all (how many AAAs do you
  • Most will excel at one or two
  • Motivation is increased when board members are
    assigned to roles that draw on their skills and
    align with their confidence zone
  • Create a AAA program on your board that engages
    each member in a role that contributes to the
    organizations advancement and helps everyone
    feel respected and engaged
  • As motivation increases, you will find board
    members moving among all the roles earning
    their AAA!

Creating a AAA Board andA Culture of Philanthropy
  • How to keep the culture and leadership alive!
  • Board, staff and non-board volunteer training and
  • Steady internal marketing and communication about
    the impact of your philanthropy on your programs
  • Positive feedback showcase successes and
    encourage people to keep engaging people
    (newsletter, bulletin board, intranet)
  • Invest in it retreats, materials

Creating a AAA Board andA Culture of Philanthropy
  • Encourage each other (board and staff) to
  • Be a champion and create champions
  • Be a leader and create leaders
  • Treat each gift as an investment each donor as
    an investor
  • Be a steward of investments and investors
  • Believe in philanthropy voluntary action for
    the public good based in shared values
  • Market your successes in your community

Tools for Setting Up a AAA Board
  • Review of Handouts
  • Survey and Summary Grid

Moving from Transaction to Transformation
  • The boards role in donor developmente and
  • Keeping the donor-investor in the loop and
    sustaining the relationship

Transactional Bell Curve The Way We Have
Solicited Gifts
High Impact Philanthropy Kay Sprinkel Grace, Alan
Transformational Infinity LoopThe Way We Can
Build Relationships
High Impact Philanthropy Kay Sprinkel Grace, Alan
Maintaining the Relationship Requires Information
  • Program impact
  • Financial performance
  • Return on donor investment relative to the
    donors values
  • Responsiveness to changes in organization and
  • Willingness to plan continually based on shifts
    in the marketplace and to have working systems
    and structures to support change

Infinity Loop Keeping Your Donor-Investors
2. You Tailor Your Case
1. You Make Your Case
3. Your Donor Investors Champion Your Case
High Impact Philanthropy Kay Sprinkel Grace, Alan
Wendroff Adapted by Papilia, 2003
(No Transcript)
Positioning Your Organization as a Community
  • 21st century philanthropy including board
    member giving is increasingly done from a sense
    of wanting to invest
  • Obligation is not a lasting motivation for giving
  • People invest in impact, issues, ideas and want
  • You are the connectors that move community
    investors into a relationship with your
  • A gift to your organization is really a gift
    through your organization into the community
  • People give because you meeting needs, not
    because you have needs (key to investment

Mission and the Ultimate Board Member
  • A keeper of the mission
  • Mission is why your organization exists the
    human or societal need you are meeting
  • Board members have to master the mission and
    insist on a strong mission statement
  • To keep the mission, board members have to be
    able to articulate it and stay connected with the
    mission (mission moments, e.g.)
  • Windows vs- mirrors keep the mission fresh

Mission Example
  • Vector Health Programs (medical agency treating
  • Next to the human face, hands are our most
    expressive feature. We talk with them. We work
    with them. We play with them. We comfort and
    love with them. An injury to the hand affects a
    person professionally and personally. At
    Vector Health Programs, we give people back the
    use of their hands.

Mission Example
  • For a campaign brochure for the Science Museum of
  • From ancient chipped stone tools, to modern
    computer chips, ingenuity is the human signature.
    We seek to understand and mimic a world and
    universe in which we are newcomers, to fly with
    birds, to communicate at the speed of light.
    This scientific quest is written in things we can
    touch, each of them a window to the future. At
    the Science Museum of Minnesota, we touch the
    future, hands on.

Vision and the Ultimate Board Member
  • Leaders share the vision with others
  • Vision is larger than the organization it is a
    vision of the community if the organization is
  • Board members must be able to convey the vision
    it is key to engaging other board members and
    donors in the organization
  • The boards vision will inspire others, including

Head Start Organization in New Orleans
  • Our vision is that every child in the greater New
    Orleans area will be ready when it is time to
    start school.

Values and the Ultimate Board Member
  • Board members are champions and guardians of the
    organizations values
  • John W. Gardner Affirming values
  • Nonprofits are driven by values, so is
    philanthropy important to keep them aligned
  • A board members own commitment to values is
  • Ensure that marketing and development materials
    reflect the values
  • Know how to articulate the values

Based in values
Uncovers shared values
Fund Raising
Gives people opportunities to act on their values
An Expression of Values
  • A thank you card sent to institutional and
    individual donors to a special campaign for a
    university library flooding emergency
  • Your gift to the Stanford University Libraries
    helps us assemble the sources, the arguments, the
    hypotheses, the wisdom and controversies of the
    ages. For all those here, and those yet to come,
    please accept our gratitude.
  • Michael Keller, Librarian

Stepping Up to the Challenge
  • Reflect on what you have heard and learned, and
    pick one idea out that changed your thinking and
    be prepared to share with the others
  • Then, working as organizational teams, list 3 5
    ideas you have about how you can work more
    effectively together. You may select tasks from
    the AAA survey or use them as a guide.
  • Be prepared to tell others what you are planning
    to do.

My Closing Thoughts
  • Potential for change and impact is huge

The Impact Board Members Have
  • Powerful impact
  • Organizational capacity increases
  • Help create a dream board strong, dynamic and
  • The ultimate board member
  • Draws on his/her gifts and talents willingly
  • Offers his/her network of contacts appropriately
  • Thinks beyond the boundaries when confronted with
    a challenge yet thinks procedurally when the
    organization needs to steady its course

Druckers thoughts.
  • The leaders who work most effectively, it seems
    to me, never say "I." And that's not because they
    have trained themselves not to say "I." They
    don't think "I." They think "we" they think
    "team." They understand their job to be to make
    the team function. They accept responsibility and
    don't sidestep it, but "we" gets the credit. This
    is what creates trust, what enables you to get
    the task done.
  • Peter Drucker

John W. Gardners Thought.
  • Most important, leaders can conceive and
    articulate goals that lift people out of their
    petty preoccupations and unite them in pursuit of
    objectives worthy of their best efforts.
  • John W. Gardner

Building the Ultimate BoardMaximizing Impact
  • Kay Sprinkel Grace, Presenter
  • 415-831-2923
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