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  • Writer's pictureThe MSG Team


One of many comments we get at Midwest Studies Group (MSG), is that some nonprofits are struggling to keep their board members engaged. If you look around your board meeting and you see people yawning, gazing into space, or looking frustrated . . . it might be time to take some next steps. Here are a few suggestions for you to try:

1) First . . . do an assessment of your board. Find out what they are liking and not liking, learn what makes them tick, and figure out how they would grade themselves in areas such as fundraising, participation, and attendance. Learning where to start is the only REAL way to improve. Need help? MSG can facilitate this conversation with you at a future board meeting or retreat.

2) Second . . . create expectations for board members. If board members don't understand what is expected of them, then they won't know how to push themselves.

3) Third . . . create relationships. Do your board members REALLY know each other? Do they know each other's names? Do they laugh at meetings or is it super serious? Do you have name table tents around so people can remember names? Do you have socials? Some of the best boards around are those in which board members don't feel like they HAVE to be there but because they are excited to see people they know, and WANT to be part of that team.

4) Finally . . . add some spice to your meetings. If all you do at your board meetings is give report after report, we would be bored as well. Facilitate a conversation with them in tackling an issue, bring in guests for a panel discussion to learn about a topic, or have a client come to build relationships. The key to making a difference with your board meeting is this . . . Your board should be made up of the smartest people in the community. Use that to your advantage during board meetings, so they don't become BORED meetings.


To learn more about strategic and fundraising plans, feasibility studies, planned giving studies, need assessment studies, and capital campaigns, visit us at

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