4 Ways to Reenergize your Foundation Board

 

Your board is good at what it does. You have experienced trustees and good infrastructure, but you would like to try fresh approaches, reenergize your foundation board, and experience your giving more fully. This outline may be your springboard to action.

  1. Revisit your mission and assess whether the focus of your activities aligns with your mission, your goals, and changing community needs. If there is a lack of synergy, seize this as an opportunity to reaffirm your mission and assess the possibilities for greater impact.  It may be time to:
  • Engage in strategic planning
  • Reconsider your definition of impact
  • Convene your grantees for first-hand feedback
  • Launch a new program initiative
  1. Maximize the results of your foundation’s current operations and board efforts. Board tasks and meetings may have become rote and uninspiring.  Consider a fresh approach:
  • Implement a program of board education and holistic discussion
  • Shift investment strategy to align with programs, mission or impact
  • Adopt a new meeting format that sparks creativity, energy, and participation
  • Rotate officers to build depth and share responsibilities
  1. Strengthen relationships with stakeholders for effective decision making and teamwork. The successful board is essentially a team working together toward common goals. Take time to:
  • Socialize with board and staff members
  • Learn together by attending a conference or watching a webinar and discussing key concepts
  • Get to know each other in fun ways, a foundation trivia tournament or trustee bake-off (!)
  • Engage community advisors to build deeper relationships with constituents
  1. Plan for renewal and for board continuity and succession. Whether your foundation will exist in perpetuity or for another 25 years, a plan for board development is essential.  Consider next steps:
  • Create a profile of how the board should evolve
  • Develop a pipeline for identifying and process for selecting future board members
  • Appoint apprentice board members or committees to prepare future leaders

Mary Phillips has helped private and family foundation boards reach their goals for over 35 years. Contact Mary at mphillips@gmafoundations.com