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HERO of Washtenaw Board Development Project. Community Consulting Club December 7, 2001. Zach Browder Matt Collett David Lowy Kristin Schleicher. Agenda. HERO today: Strengths and Challenges. Challenges Community Awareness Donor development Volunteers Board involvement

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Hero of washtenaw board development project

HERO of Washtenaw Board Development Project

Community Consulting Club

December 7, 2001

Zach Browder

Matt Collett

David Lowy

Kristin Schleicher

Hero today strengths and challenges
HERO today: Strengths and Challenges


  • Community Awareness

  • Donor development

  • Volunteers

  • Board involvement

  • Building a foundation


  • Strong program

  • Committed and energetic management

  • Aggressive goals for growth

Building a board to support hero s goals
Building a Board to Support HERO’s Goals

Vision for HERO

  • Strengthen Board to position HERO for future success and growth

  • Promote HERO to build credibility, public recognition, and enthusiasm

  • Recruit mentors to strengthen the partnership program and increase value to community

  • Increase number of homeless individuals reached through Pathfinder Program

    HERO needs to build a new board to:

  • Inject new leadership in organization and strengthen HERO

  • Pursue Growth Strategy

  • Build Community Connections

  • Utilize members with specific skills

Targeted board profile
Targeted Board Profile


One of the below

Finance Professional

Finance & Dvlpmt.Committee Chair

Public Relations

Community Relations Committee Chair

Nonprofit Leader

Human Resources Committee Chair

Homeless Voice

Program Committee Chair

Volunteer Recruiting


Or have an accountanton finance committee




Detroit Connection

  • At least two board members should have nonprofit board experience

  • High Priorities are finance, fundraising, volunteer recruitment, and PR

Board attributes
Board Attributes

  • Affluence: public recognition and respect

  • Influence: political and community connections, bridge to constituencies

  • Leadership

  • Competence

  • Commitment

  • Passion: a sincere interest in HERO’s mission

  • Diversity: of age, gender, race, skills, and viewpoints

  • Responsiveness

  • Open-mindedness

  • Shared goals

    Commitment and Passion are critical if board members are to have an impact.

Reality versus desired
Reality versus Desired

  • HERO should focus on obtaining board members who possess:

    • time

    • dependability

    • energy required to attend meetings and serve the organization.

  • HERO will be more attractive to prestigious board members once they gain momentum

  • Potential candidates must also work well with other board members

Advisory board
Advisory Board

HERO should utilize an advisory board to take advantage of these benefits:

  • Specific skills needed on occasion, e.g. accounting expertise

  • Community connections

  • For use on special projects and committees

  • Pool of potential board members, donors, or volunteers


  • HERO should retain current members on advisory board.

  • Potential board members who are approached but decline board membership should be asked to join advisory board

  • A new board member can lead advisory board

Growth committee
Growth Committee

  • The HERO board should create a Growth Committee to help execute the organization’s growth plan.

  • This should include creation of a Growth Committee Chair position on board of directors.

Other board recommendations
Other Board Recommendations

A strong board president is needed to ensure the effectiveness of new board members.

Responsibilities of President:

  • Establishing clearly defined roles and responsibilities

  • Setting detailed performance expectations

  • Thorough orientation of new board members

  • Regular self-monitoring

    Current board members need to be active as well to ensure smooth transition of new board into HERO

Candidate selection
Candidate Selection

  • A quantifiable selection process for board members:

    • Eliminates biases

    • Optimizes work sorting through profiles

    • Reveals strengths of candidates

    • Better matched candidates to HERO

  • But don’t forget about the qualitative factors!

Selecting candidates from new
Selecting Candidates From NEW

  • Quantify importance of qualifications

    • Interest in HERO Mission (32%)

    • Interest in HERO Size and Stage (26%)

    • Non-Profit Experience (22%)

    • Time (10%)

    • Expressed Specific Interest in HERO (5%)

    • NEW Match (5%)

Selecting candidates from new1
Selecting Candidates From NEW

  • Rank each candidate from 0 to 5 in each qualification.

  • Importance x Rank = Qualification Score

  • Sum of all Qualification Scores = Total Score

Selecting candidates from new2
Selecting Candidates From NEW

  • Example: Candidate 106A

    • Expressed Interest 0 Q. Score 0.00

    • New Match 0 0.00

    • Time 3 0.66

    • Experience 5 0.50

    • Mission 4 1.28

    • Organization 4 1.04

  • TOTAL 3.48

Top new candidates
Top NEW Candidates

  • Sort by Professional Skills to fill needs.

  • Example: Fundraising

    • 23P – Score 3.08

    • 133K – Score 2.92

  • Example: Marketing

    • 116L – Score 3.29

    • 133K – Score 2.92

    • 123J – Score 2.92

  • Part two

    Part Two

    Attracting and Retaining Board Members

    What are board members looking for
    What are board members looking for?

    Why do individuals join Nonprofit Boards?

    • Become involved in your community

    • Build valuable experience

    • Improve your leadership and teamwork skills

    • Network building

    • Resume building

      Why Join HERO’s Board of Directors?

    • Strong programs that empower people

    • Greater opportunity to make an impact and share your expertise

    Expanding community reach
    Expanding Community Reach

    The aggressive promotion of HERO will build credibility, public recognition, and enthusiasm for HERO’s work thus enabling HERO to increase its base of Board members, donors, and volunteers.

    Ways to reach community:

    • Attend community events, for example, Rotary Club, United Way, etc.

    • Contact community relations representatives at local businesses

    • Continue to build networks among complimentary agencies

    • Host a community benefit

    • Leverage Louie!

      Note: Compile Excel database of contacts for use in future recruiting and networking efforts

    Attracting board members fact sheet
    Attracting Board Members: Fact Sheet

    Topics include:

    • Mission

    • Program descriptions

    • Statistics about HERO and homelessness

    • Testimonials from homeless client, mentor, and board member

    • Why join the HERO board of directors

    Steps to attract potential board members
    Steps to Attract Potential Board Members

    • Meet prospective board members over breakfast, lunch, coffee, or other social setting.

    • Explain why they were selected, what capacity they will serve, and what skills and viewpoints you want them to contribute.

    • Share the involvement and activities required.

    • Allow them ample time to make a decision.

      Well informed board members will likely be more effective board members.

    Specific strategies for attaining board member contacts
    Specific Strategies for Attaining Board Member Contacts

    • Form a “One-Meeting Nominating Committee”

      • Call and invite 20 people who you would like on your board but who you suspect wouldn’t join to a meeting over lunch

      • Tell them at lunch they’ll learn more about HERO and what you’re looking for in a board

      • At the end of lunch ask for the name of one person they think would be a good board member

      • Call up each nominee the next day

    • Suggest a “Board Member Exchange”

      • Pick 4 local organizations where you don’t know anyone, but would like to

      • Have each officer to call one of the organizations and ask the board president or executive director to coffee

      • Over coffee suggest that the two organizations “retire” board members to each other as a way of establishing organizational links and strengthening ties among communities

    Board manual expectations and commitments
    Board Manual Expectations and Commitments

    Each board member has the following commitments:

    • Attendance: not to exceed one unexcused absence per year. Board members are expected to come to board meetings well prepared, and regularly attend fundraisers and other special events.

    • Fundraising: assist in raising money or contribute financially $500-1000 each year.

    • Determine objectives and benchmarks for board success and evaluate performance. Take action when performance does not meet commitments.

    • Chair at least one committee and participate in at least one other committee.

    Board manual expectations and commitments1
    Board Manual Expectations and Commitments

    • Mentor another board member with less board experience to provide training.

    • Time commitment: Board members should be expected to contribute 8 hours per month carrying out these activities.

    • Add value to HERO by contributing ideas and subject expertise.

    • Set organizational vision and mission.

    • External relations: impact positive working partnerships with key stakeholders, greater public knowledge and understanding of HERO’s vision and mission, stronger public support for HERO’s mission, and a more diverse revenue base. Each board member should speak on behalf of HERO in appropriate forums at least annually.

    • Ensure effective organizational planning and assist with the annual strategic plan and balanced budget.

    Board manual expectations and commitments2
    Board Manual Expectations and Commitments

    • Determine objectives and benchmarks for organizational success and evaluate performance. Take action when performance does not meet commitments.

    • Support the Director of HERO and assess his or her performance. Select the Director.

    • Recruit other board members, volunteers, committee members, and staff members for HERO.

    • Determine, monitor, and strengthen HERO’s programs and services.

    • Ensure legal and ethical integrity.

    Retaining board members mentoring program
    Retaining Board Members: Mentoring Program

    • HERO should implement a formal mentoring program that assigns every new board member to a mentor who is responsible for helping the new member learn the ropes during the first year.

    • This can serve as training in the absence of a formal board training program.

    Retaining board members retreat
    Retaining Board Members: Retreat

    Key flaws that can lead to failure:

    • Unclear idea of what is to be accomplished or how

    • Inadequate board leadership and ownership

    • Absence of follow-through

      To avoid retreat failure:

    • Board members should be involved in fashioning a detailed retreat design and should be put in strong leadership roles in the retreat.

    • Select a comfortable off-site location, allocate adequate time, and use a professional facilitator

    • Board committee can create the retreat design specifying: objectives, structure, participants, agenda and details like timing and location

    • Objectives should be outcomes-oriented and specific

    • Use break-out groups


    • HERO’s short-term challenges require commitment, time, and specific skill sets.

    • Strengthening the organization will enable HERO to recruit affluent and influential board members.

    • Network! Network! Network!