2022: Time for Nonprofit Boards to Step Up To the Challenge

As you prepare for a third year operating, living, working, and navigating pandemic norms, is your board ready to assume the responsibility and leadership obligations necessary for the transformation coming to the nonprofit sector?

The key to your success requires a strategic and proactive board of directors. Building and maintaining board competence demands annual evaluation to identify strengths and weaknesses, allowing members the opportunity to accommodate change as needed.

If you are a board member, I challenge you to evaluate and assess your accountability for performance to improve the quality of your service to the organization.  

Consider your responses to this quiz:  

- Do you have a passion for the mission?

- Can you quote the organization’s mission, vision, and values?

- Do you bring specific expertise and skills to the board?

- Did you make a generous, meaningful contribution this past year?

- Did you tell your friends, family, and associates about the programs’ impact and ask them to contribute?        

- Do you continue to bring value, credibility, and visibility to the organization?

- Would anyone notice or miss you if you resigned?

- Does your participation bring you joy?

- Did you attend all board meetings and events?

- Do you understand nonprofit governance?

- Have you read the by-laws recently?

- Would the Executive Director feel comfortable asking you for help?

- If she did ask for help, would you generously provide the support needed?

- Were you involved in ensuring effective organizational planning, through the development of a strategic plan?

- Have you been an advocate for the organization and are you aware of pertinent legislation at the state, local, or national level?

Every affirmative response receives one point. Be honest. If you received at least twelve points, you are a good board member. If you scored less than five, you have work to do.

As a board member, it is essential you understand your roles and responsibilities and hold yourself accountable. The question is, are you ready to meet the leadership challenges for 2022? Your skills and talents have never been more important because the challenges are significant.

Board members are expected to help reimagine the future and craft the vision for the nonprofit by offering innovative thinking.

Investments in technology and training will improve diversification of revenue streams, program delivery, and response to the new workforce culture. More people working from home while delivering programs requires multiple strategies to provide seamless access and training for clients and employees.

The remote workforce is becoming the norm. Organizations are questioning the need and costs of facilities, resulting in dramatic budget reductions. At the same time, organizations have a responsibility to provide a space for employees to collaborate, share ideas, support one another, and build partnerships.

Hiring, developing, and retaining experienced talent necessitates additional investment in your staff. With an emerging hybrid workforce, nonprofits will need to embrace work life balance, provide adequate compensation, and ensure flexibility for retention.

The board is responsible for ensuring adequate financial resources to accomplish the organization’s mission and goals. Traditional fundraising methods are changing, and diversification of funding is essential. Technology will play a significant role in future fundraising outreach.

Individual, corporate, and foundation fundraising will shift to fewer face-to-face site visits. Nonprofits will rely on compelling communications messaging, written materials, and storytelling videos to convey the mission utilizing advanced technology. Annual events which previously brought in significant revenue will be replaced with more online programs.  

Boards driven by mission, passion, and purpose share the primary responsibility to ensure the financial stability, visibility, and leadership needed to deliver meaningful programs that improve the health and well-being of our communities.

So, in 2022, get ready. Boards are going to have to step up to the challenge.

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