Board of Directors Menu

A Better Way To Work Together

How To Get Your Board of Directors Working Together

Generally, a Board of Directors for any organization or nonprofit is made up of extremely intelligent and individuals who are not only passionate about your mission and vision but passionate about their involvement. (Generally) 

However, it’s hard to get a group of people to thrive in unison but that’s exactly what you need to do if you’d like the greatest level of impact. So, how do you get each personality of your board to work together?

Start thinking about your goals and needs from your Board of Directors as a menu item. 

The Nonprofit Board of Directors Menu

Starters: Time, Energy, & Treasure

Set expectations for Board Members during your recruitment and application process. 

  • Time: How much time should each Director expect to commit
  • Energy: As the CEO or ED for your nonprofit organization will you need high energy individuals overseeing a lot of the in-house activities? Or do you need sideline support
  • Treasure: Make sure you are clear with each director on their funding commitment

Soup & Salad: Daily Items and Expectations

When daily or weekly issues arise for your nonprofit, having the best guidance and leadership to support your decision-making, and “Main Dishes” below to help advance the cause is something you’ll need the foresight when voting in board members each year. 

Main Dishes: Pick One or Several, but Don’t Overcommit!

  • Fundraising – Every nonprofit requires funding, and whether it’s through grants, sponsorships or individual gifts each Director should know what the fundraising goals are annually.
  • Events – While many are still holding virtual events due to COVID-19 pandemic, there are loads of in-person events happening. Develop a team of staff and board members who are eager and willing to help coordinate and launch events with flawless execution. Additionally, it should be noted in the Director’s application of how many events they’re expected to attend or support. 
  • Communication & Public Relations – Don’t leave it up to your Directors to know exactly what to say or share with others. Create messaging and how-to’s for them. Regardless of how powerful or influential your Directors are – they truly may not know how to share a LinkedIn event or publish an Instagram Reels. 
  • Networking – Inform your board of who you’d like to be introduced to or events you want to participate in. You’ve recruited your directors based on their influence and network. Don’t be shy to invite yourself to their table!
  • Branding (Scripts, Emails, Messaging) – If you have specific pleas or event needs, provide the script or imagery for your board to share with their connections. Within the email body, text message, or social media posts share with them exactly how they can personalize the message to share your brand and mission accurately. 
  • Cultivation – Get creative with how your Board of Direcotors cultivate relationships and sponsorships. Examples: Encourage your Board of Directors to tour your facility or nonprofit during business hours.  Host a dinner with friends and have you as a speaker. Or host a workshop showcasing the services and programs you offer with local businesses. 
  • Stewardship – Your Board of Directors is not fully responsible for the sustainability and care of your organization; however; they do need to play a role in ownership. A nonprofit’s success falls on the shoulders of both leadership in-house by staff, as well as the Board. Providing ways for Board members to actively get involved and show appreciation to volunteers, donors, sponsors, and the customers is critical for entrusting them as a Director. Ultimately, you and your Board of Directors are responsible for the long-term solvency of the nonprofit… Make sure this particular dish is considered the “Surf & Turf” of your menu!


  • Motivation – Focus on the positive. Yes, you must be transparent about losses or failures but your Directors will need to stay excited and energized to best serve you. Find ways to connect your directors through competition… ex: How many turkeys can each Director raise? or, How many golf teams can they get to register? Bragging rights can go along way with leaders. Make sure you’re cultivating the passion to get your Directors motivated and involved!
  • Relationship – A Nonprofit’s Board of Directors may start out as a group of individuals from all different backgrounds and professions but through active communication and participation you should walk away each year with lifelong relationships. How strong the relationship is will be determined by how well you set the table!