Every great nonprofit organization has a super awesome board rowing it towards it's successful destination. Here's what I know:
AWESOME BOARD MEMBERS...
1. Leave their personal agendas at the door.
Here's the deal: If your main motivation for joining the board is anything other than wanting to see the mission of the organization successfully fulfilled... um, thanks... but NO THANKS! Awesome board members are 110% behind the cause and they allow their decisions and suggestions to be influenced by what is good for the organization. They leave their personal agendas out of it.
2. Steer clear of the board drama.
Awesome board members do not participate in board drama. They don't engage in secret "unofficial" side meetings. They don't go behind other board members' backs to sway the consensus. When everyone is whispering in the corners, they choose to save their chatter for when it matters - at the meetings.
3. Participate wholeheartedly.
Awesome board members show up and they show up on time. Yes, I said it: Awesome board members are punctual and participatory. They come prepared to collaborate and bring helpful solutions to help propel the mission forward. When they are present at meetings, they are present with mind, body and soul.
4. Ask the hard questions.
Awesome board members are not afraid to challenge and/or confront the practices that have been proven unsuccessful. They are not intimidated by what others may think because they are most concerned with whether or not how things "have always been done" are still serving the mission of the organization. They ask the hard questions.
5. Celebrates the wins.
Awesome board members are celebrators. They actively look for wins that they can acknowledge and applaud. They are fluent in communicating gratitude and appreciate to staff and donors. They are not just looking for "what is going wrong" or "what we need to keep on" but they genuinely want to hear what is going right and who deserves to be told, "Hey! Great job!"
If you have the amazing privilege of serving on a nonprofit board, please... please... for the love of doing good...
... be an awesome board member. Choose to be the one that shines and sparkles with integrity and passion. I mean that from the bottom of my heart because doing good requires good people.