Is your board doing everything they can to help your YMCA serve your community?
Christal Cherry, nonprofit board development and fundraising expert, joined the NAYDO webinar series to share what a successful, engaged board looks like in 2022 and beyond.
Nonprofit boards can’t stay the same as they always have. The communities they serve are constantly evolving, and board best practices need to evolve with them if you want your YMCA to be successful. In her presentation “Not Your Grandma’s Board”, Christal lays out what your board needs to know and the steps they can take to increase your YMCA’s impact.
“We’re not living in a bubble anymore. Everything that’s going on in the world affects our work, so we need to make sure our boards are tuned in.” – Christal Cherry
Check out the webinar to learn:.
Last Year’s Trends and Next Year’s Forecast
As technology and culture evolve, you need to update your board tactics accordingly. 2022 was a big year for remote and hybrid events. Online meetings made boards more efficient and that trend is expected to continue in 2023.
Here’s what else you can look forward to next year:
- A stronger focus on diversity and equity: Your board should represent the community you serve. More boards are looking to diversify their members and expand their viewpoints.
- Growing social media use: Your board can use social media as a tool to better support peer to peer communication and fundraising.
- Younger board members: Younger individuals are joining boards and fundraising teams, bringing fresh ideas and enthusiasm with them.
H2: What Modern Boards Should Know
The ways successful boards support their YMCAs are changing as well. Boards are becoming more involved, working together with management on policy and implementation.
Today’s board members should:
- Understand their YMCA’s competition
- Know how their YMCA will respond in a crisis
- Be intentional about centering equity in everything they do
- Discuss their business, fundraising strategy, and client demographics
- Be informed about government support trends and public policy debates
How Your Board Chair and CEO Can Work Together
The people leading your organization and board have a huge impact on whether or not your YMCA thrives.
Your board chair should:
- Motivate members to participate and give
- Set your board’s culture and expectations
- Facilitate discussions on larger policies issues
- Meet with your CEO/Executive Director weekly
- Regularly propose changes and make hard decisions
- Recruit new members to achieve greater diversity and business expertise
Your organization’s CEO also plays an important role in your board’s success. Your CEO and board chair should work together as a team to create an environment where your board can thrive.
To better support your board, your CEO should:
- Help them understand your office culture
- Share strategic challenges and big ideas
- Invite them to meet your organization’s staff
- Show credibility, honesty, and integrity to develop trust
- Ask for feedback and an annual performance evaluation
- Work with them to decide your priorities and strategic direction
What an Inclusive Board Looks Like
The workplace is becoming more diverse every day and so are boards. The communities you serve aren’t homogenous and your board should be representative of that diversity.
Building a diverse board should be on your mind when you’re recruiting new members. Leverage your network to meet a wide range of people with different ages, genders, socio-economic statuses, cultures, and life experiences.
To create a culture of inclusion and belonging, make sure you:
- Volunteer together
- Use inclusive language
- Celebrate cultural events and holidays
- Hold an orientation to share best practices and ideas
- Avoid discussions about your finances and personal investments
- Create a buddy system to share questions and learning experiences
Christal shared so many important tips that we couldn’t fit them all in one roundup. Be sure to watch the full webinar to learn more about:
- Modern board challenges
- How to support your CEO
- Getting to know the community you serve
- How to evaluate your board’s performance
- Addressing societal challenges as a board
- How to get your board tapped into your YMCA
- What an empowered and strategic CEO looks like