How Do You Get A Volunteer Board to Perform its Best?

By |Published On: February 22, 2014|

Whether you are a volunteer leader of an association or an association staff member, its critical that you are doing everything you can to help your Board of Directors perform at its best.  Hopefully the reason is obvious – if a Board is performing at its best, the association it is leading should achieve its mission.

Traditionally there are many avenues pursued to help Board’s achieve “greatness”.  There is Board orientation, Board training, rules of conduct, understanding of roles and responsibilities and more.

I read an article on this subject in Association’s Now recently that was very interesting.  The American Society of Association Executives (ASAE) has conducted a three year long study into successful associations and, in particular, what the Board’s of successful associations are doing.  The findings probably won’t surprise you but they will definitely give you something to think about.

Bottom line:

1.  Successful Boards are focused on strategic issues.  Not just once every three years, but all the time.

2.  Successful Boards are committed to training and hold themselves (as a Board and as Board members) accountable.

3.  Successful Boards have solid Board member recruitment and mentoring efforts in place constantly, not just once a year.

The article goes on to recommend that associations form a Board Development Committee whose responsibility goes beyond future Board member recruitment.  The committee can help to form the culture of the Board.  Its members can mentor current and new Board members and can help to keep the Board focused on the things that will make it successful.

Do you have a Board Development Committee that goes beyond recruitment?  Are there other qualities of a successful Board that you’ve witnessed?  Share them here.


  1. Seth Kahan February 23, 2014 at 5:36 pm - Reply

    Hi Rick,

    I am looking from the outside in. As a consultant I do a lot of board retreats and am leading a major governance transformation for a client. So, for what it’s worth, here’s my perspective.

    Everyone knows that when you want to improve in a particular area, simply bringing your awareness to it is the first step to reaching a new level of performance.

    So, for example, if you want to improve your diet, reading about new ways to eat, talking to friends who have had success, logging food choices… all of these can lead to immediate gains while they set the stage for larger, transformative actions. The real key is not in knowing what to do (everyone knows they should do these things), but in being motivated to do it and following through. That’s the real sign that a good change is on the way.

    Similarly, when a board engages in self-reflection, reads about successes in other organizations, or engages in continuous improvement, they immediately begin to step up their game. And there’s a lot of good reading out there. For example the two books Road to Relevance and Race to Relevance are both packed with case studies. Not only can you quickly digest a good number of short synopses, but when you find one that seems like a good match or a relevant experience, you can call up the ED of the particular organization and learn a good deal more.

    Again, it’s not knowing what to do as much as it is being motivated and following through. And group dynamics are a different game than individual motivation. I have had success by keeping an eye out for the volunteer leaders who take an interest in this kind of reflective development and nurturing it through conversation, sharing of pertinent articles and books, and facilitating interactions with other key players. It’s like fanning embers into flames, and it’s a worthy pursuit.

    When you have an inspired ED and a volunteer board performing at its best, you have the best of all worlds: best for the members, the mission, and all the stakeholders. Definitely worth the investment.

  2. rickchurchcms February 24, 2014 at 4:18 am - Reply

    Great points Seth. Thanks for commenting.

    Execution is critical to all success – planning is important, knowing what to do is important. But if we don’t do it, we can’t succeed.

    What’s that old adage – 80% of success is showing up?

  3. how to set up google authorship March 8, 2014 at 5:11 pm - Reply

    There’s certainly a lot to find out about this topic. I really
    like all of the points you made.

  4. Shani March 26, 2014 at 6:26 am - Reply

    Pretty portion of content. I just stumbled upon your weblog and in
    accession capital to assert that I acquire in fact enjoyed account your
    weblog posts. Any way I’ll be subscribing in your
    feeds or even I achievement you get right of entry
    to persistently fast.

  5. pellet stove review March 26, 2014 at 3:08 pm - Reply

    Remarkable! Its truly remarkable post, I have got much clear idea concerning from
    this article.

  6. sliding glass door curtains March 27, 2014 at 1:36 am - Reply

    If you arе going for finest contents like myself, οnly pay a quick visit
    this web page all the time because іt offers feature contents,

  7. is online gambling legal March 27, 2014 at 8:27 am - Reply

    Hello, I wish for to subscribe for this website to obtain most up-to-date updates, so where can
    i do it please help.

  8. sports betting example March 31, 2014 at 2:49 pm - Reply

    I would like to thnkx for the efforts you have put in writing this web site.

    I’m hoping the same high-grade web site post from you in the upcoming also.
    Actually your creative writing skills has encouraged me to get my own web site
    now. Actually the blogging is spreading its wings quickly.
    Your write up is a great example of it.

  9. flappy bird online hack April 5, 2014 at 1:13 am - Reply

    My brother recommended I might like this web site. He was entirely right.
    This post truly made my day. You can not imagine simply how much time I had spent for this information!

  10. Awesome! Its genuinely awesome article, I have got much clear idea regarding from this

  11. wazne April 9, 2014 at 2:14 am - Reply

    I visit everyday some websites and information sites to read
    content, but this weblog presents quality based articles.

  12. ppi claim back ltd April 11, 2014 at 2:25 am - Reply

    Thanks for your publish. My spouse and i have often observed that almost all people are
    wanting to lose weight when they wish to appear slim plus attractive.
    On the other hand, they do not continually realize that there are additional benefits for you to losing weight
    in addition. Doctors declare that overweight people
    suffer from a variety of health conditions that can be perfectely attributed to their excess weight.
    The good news is that people that are overweight plus suffering from different diseases can reduce the severity of their illnesses through losing weight.

    It is possible to see a progressive but identifiable improvement with health whenever even a slight amount of weight reduction is accomplished.

  13. capcom mobile games April 14, 2014 at 3:00 pm - Reply

    I love what you guys are usually up too. This type of clever work and exposure!
    Keep up the amazing works guys I’ve added you guys to blogroll.

  14. kitchen plans April 17, 2014 at 7:32 pm - Reply

    These set the disposition in the room with color and texture.
    When there is 10 seconds left, the timer turns red. Also consider
    selling the parts and the instruction manual.

  15. download brick mansions April 23, 2014 at 7:12 am - Reply

    Hey very cool blog!! Man .. Excellent .. Superb ..
    I’ll bookmark your website and take the feeds additionally?
    I’m glad to find a lot of helpful info here
    within the publish, we want work out extra techniques in
    this regard, thank you for sharing. . . . . .

  16. download walk of shame April 23, 2014 at 5:30 pm - Reply

    Hi! I know this is kinda off topic but I was wondering if you knew where
    I could find a captcha plugin for my comment form? I’m
    using the same blog platform as yours and I’m having difficulty finding one?

    Thanks a lot!

  17. paleo snacks April 25, 2014 at 7:36 am - Reply

    While you can still be in vogue and dress to kill, you can attract the men around you with your striking
    personality as easily as you can if you were a “no 10”.
    When this happens, you will be restricted to the price that the home builders will give you.
    Well, they are easy to use, they can use very light line,
    it is easy to adjust the drag and they are generally less expensive than other kinds of reels.

  18. April 26, 2014 at 1:51 am - Reply

    Completing 3 or 4 surveys an hour is a good average.

    Security is mainly achieved with intrusion detection mechanisms that
    are able to detect threats before they can damage your system.
    This happens when you push yourself too hard or when you forget to
    use proper time management skills.

  19. best work boots for men May 4, 2014 at 12:42 am - Reply

    Post writing is also a fun, if you be familiar with after that
    you can write otherwise it is complex to write.

  20. That, combined with their no pressure strategy, makes Regal a
    pleasure to take care of.

  21. บางนา June 16, 2014 at 11:25 am - Reply

    They offer 2 reds wines and 2 white wines for sale by the glass at $4.
    Taxis are an average of $1 per trip, the sky train and underground are the
    same and the bus, at 30 cents, is even cheaper.
    No worries, a company called Spice – Roads runs a fun and exciting bicycle
    tour of this massive Asian city, but.

  22. boom beach hack no survey July 2, 2014 at 3:01 pm - Reply

    Excellent post. I definitely appreciate this
    site. Thanks!

  23. August 18, 2014 at 7:51 pm - Reply

    Thanks for sharing such a pleasant opinion, article is pleasant,
    thats why i have read it completely

  24. idm keygen September 23, 2014 at 2:02 am - Reply

    Have you ever thought about adding a little bit more than just your articles?
    I mean, what you say is important and everything. But think of if
    you added some great graphics or videos to give your posts more, “pop”!
    Your content is excellent but with pics and clips, this site
    could undeniably be one of the best in its niche.
    Fantastic blog!

  25. gold palm coast massage therapy September 23, 2014 at 3:02 am - Reply

    Hello! I could have sworn I’ve been to this blog before but after browsing through some of the post I realized it’s new to me.
    Anyhow, I’m definitely glad I found it and I’ll be bookmarking
    and checking back frequently!

  26. shadow fight 2 mod apk 1.7.3 March 10, 2015 at 10:26 am - Reply

    This shadow combat 2 hack is ran online on our personal servers and as such will safeguard you.

  27. ladonnagara February 16, 2016 at 3:59 pm - Reply

    Things upon learn about personal Loans

    It may be easier before get hold oof a perrsonal loan against a
    bank you already have an with. effective financial institution give in all probability want
    too miss what on earth you’re going to fruitfulness the cash considering and
    should actually have a better loan in your needs.
    as with aany different mortgage, it’s necessary to decide
    on personal mortgages ccorrectly moreover solely cadge whatsoever
    you may afwhereasd upon .
    Car loans are related contained by that emotional car itself could be sold
    out passing through the lender shell powerfful borrower defaults on a loan.
    Secured loans wlf slightly kind from credit (kind a
    house instead automobile) pledhed before striking loan that
    may be sold by means of affecting lender to enssure comeback.

    One private mortgage.multiple issues to make use of magic considering.
    uncover personal loans can be sed many ways – whether or not your objective is
    consolidating debts, paying for big orbit events,
    taking care of main purchases approximately handling unexpected bills.
    study more mortgage usesConsolidate yourhigher-curiosity debtat a lower price Debt Consolidation mortgagesCelebfee the weddingyou’ve alwaysimagined Wedding loansUpgrade
    before extravigour-efficientappliances inexperienced loans grab a familyvacation suddeny’llalways remember Vacation mortgages

    Choice personal Loans offers a pro consumer furthermore business financing that
    isn’t only dependable, however fast ( benefit loansnow out there).
    we hhave worthy inhluding weak credit loan lenders in all fifty states includeing big
    apple, Caliafternia, Texas, Chicago, Micchigan moreover Florida!
    you will put to death your monetary needs. compropmise an software for private loanstoday!

    Unsecured private Loans pro low credit, moreover Unicorns

    Annual perccentage charges, phrases about mortgage, moreover month-to-month payments presented are projected andd were created based upon info entered using the buyer and thru evaluation off data publicly available at lender web sites.
    whereas efforts plague been made to maintain correct information,
    impressive loan information is introduced with out warranty
    including affecting probable APR or other phrases offered don’t tighten all
    lender. Lenders typically devour a variety of accessible APRs (for example,
    a lenders range is likely to be 7percent to 3zero%) furthermore solely borrowers
    bby means of xcellent credit score give liimit ffor thee lowest rate accessible.
    Yourr actual APR wioll rely on components evaluated at the time regarding application, which
    can embody credit score rating, mortgage amount, mortgage nickname, credit score utilization moreover
    history. loans are subject before credit sscore review
    moreover compliments. while evaluating gives, refuuse evaluation effective lenders terms also conditions for extra details.

Leave A Comment