This is a clip from Susan Hammond’s October 22, 2009 presentation on creating powerful organizations. Here she talks about Orienting and Educating Advisory Board Members. The following are notes from the clip. Many times we bring people on our board because they believe in our mission, but they have never taken advantage of our services. If they have never used our services, how do they really know what we are about? So how do we create a learning opportunity now and ongoing learning opportunities for them? When Susan was the CFO for Fuller Craft Museum, they had the board meetings at the museum so everyone could see the exhibits and what the museum was doing. If we want our advisory board members to be ambassadors of our services, we need to educate them. Susan sees that Nonprofit Organizations typically do not do a good job of educating board members. If they are well oriented to our mission, they well be able to perform better and be more effective. At the museum she would have people like the insurance broker come into the board meeting and present the insurance plan to the board – basically have the expert in a given area present to the board. This tends to make things tangible and real. Also, assigning a mentor or partner to a new board member for a short period of time is a good idea. Sometimes this naturally happens, it depends on the board.
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