“Our Board is very dedicated, but we are more of a working Board.”
When this type of statement is made – by an institutional leader, an advancement leader, or a Board member – there are two unhelpful assumptions being made:
First, this definition of “working Board,” almost always is limited to one in which Board members plan and implement special events and “fundraisers,” volunteer to stuff envelopes, or help staff concession stands, etc. This type of working Board leaves out any room for a Board with members who are more comfortable with other types of work. Major gifts philanthropy work. Friend-raising work. Advancement work.
Second, this definition of “working Board,” assumes that Boards are either “working” or they are not (which, I suppose would make them lazy or idle Boards?). But, in my experience, almost all Boards do some kind or type of work.
The question is almost never, “Is the Board a working Board or a lazy Board?”
The question is, “What type of work are institutional and advancement leaders guiding them to do?”
This article was originally posted on Jason’s Blog in February 2023. To read more, visit www.jasonmcneal.com.