Volunteer Power News Number 33
Author: Thomas W. McKee
"Volunteer Power News" Monthly Newsletter
© 2005 Advantage Point Systems Publishing
A warm welcome to all volunteer managersthose of you who recruit, motivate and mobilize volunteer workers.
In this Issue:
Tom McKee Workshop in Sacramento, California
DOVIA (Directors of Volunteers in Agencies) in Sacramento is sponsoring the following Northern California Workshop:
Date: February 9, 2006 from 8:30 to Noon
This hands-on workshop will cover the following topics:
Registration will be from 8:30-9:00am, and the training from 9am-12pm. Snacks and beverages will be provided
To register contact Darby Flynn firstname.lastname@example.org or call (916) 567-3100 (x106)
Choosing Board Members for the Volunteer Organization
I received this e-mail last month. It prompted not only my response, but I recognized that I didn’t have enough information about boards on my website, so I want to take care of this concern.
The Follow Up: Position Driven vs. Person Driven – One of the Most Important Factors
There are two types of recruiting:
I am a firm believer in position-driven recruiting and used this method for ten years when I was the director of a 3000 member non-profit organization. We had six board members who each served on the board for three years. Each board member functioned as the chair of a significant area of responsibility (i.e. development, finances, education, recruitment, membership services, or board chair). One advantage of six board members is that each year our nominating committee had to replace only two new board members to work in a very specific capacity. Before you react to such a small board, many of you do the same thing. You have a huge board (30—60 people) divided into about six committees. And your six committee chairpersons makeup your executive committee. I did the same thing, but we called the executive committee the official board and then recruited and managed almost 1000 volunteers that served on committees and action teams (but they were not board members).
People-driven recruiting is based on the need to find a certain number of people to fill a board, committee or action team. A friend of mine was asked to be on the governing board of a graduate school. He was honored and considered the position. He joined the board, but became very frustrated because at the first meeting he was asked to serve on the development committee (raising money), and he felt that he had no expertise in fulfilling that position. He resigned before his term was up due to frustration.
I had quite the opposite experience. I was recruited to serve on the academic affairs committee of a graduate school. I was given a position charter, a list of roles and responsibilities, and was told that the chair of that committee was going off the board in a year; they were looking for someone to replace her in that position, and I was being considered. I accepted. Oh, and by the way, I was asked to raise money—all board members are. But raising money was part of the project charter.
Do you see the difference? My experience was position driven—not people driven. I knew what was expected of me, the position excited me, and I felt that I had some expertise to fulfill that position. My friend’s role on his board was not position driven. He was frustrated by not being able to use his expertise on the board. My role on the academic committee was exciting as I worked with the academic dean in establishing academic policy and considering changes in academic philosophy. I loved my role on the board and put in hours of volunteer time.
The same is true of association boards and committees. Most people who join associations are busy professionals who are trying to balance multiple responsibilities. We lose dynamic and effective board and committee members if we don’t recruit these people for the position that excites them.
Recruiting board members was always one of my top priorities. I spent significant time working with the nominating committee to come up with prospects, and then I always took a prospective board member out to breakfast or lunch to present the position charter and talk about our mission, the position and what my expectations were. When I followed this procedure, I found that my acceptance and retention rate was 100%.
Jeanne H. Bradner is an author and specialists on board development. She is the author of The Board Member's Guide. She suggests the following in meeting with a potential board member:
For more information about recruiting board members, check out the following articles and book excerpts on the topic:
We get letters
Next Month: No Money, No Mission. Asking volunteers for money.
Tom McKee is a leading volunteer management speaker, trainer and consultant. You can reach Tom at (916) 987-0359 or e-mail him at email@example.com. Other articles and free resources are available at www.volunteerpower.com.
For more articles by Thomas McKee, visit the Articles section on our website.
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