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6 questions to ask every board member

by The NonProfit Times - May 6, 2011

Especially in times of stress and turmoil, the importance of leadership can take center stage as the focal point for finding solutions. Good management is of course paramount, but board involvement is also crucial.

Speaking during the Association for Healthcare Philanthropy (AHP) International Conference 2010, Jerry A. Linzy of Jerold Panas, Linzy & Partners said that success in philanthropy depends on staff leadership and direction, but it is the board of directors’ involvement that ensures success at the highest level.

Linzy reminded his audience that, traditionally, board leadership and support for fundraising includes working directly to secure gifts, leadership giving, providing resources for new efforts, understanding what it takes to move the organization’s development program forward and using access and influence to bring other resources to the organization.

Further, he said that the following questions should be asked of each board member:

  • What excites you the most about the organization’s work in the world?
  • Why are you on the board?
  • What do you want to accomplish by serving?
  • What are you, as a board member, committed to creating?
  • How is this board service helping you achieve your own personal goals?
  • What legacy do you want to leave by virtue of serving on this board?

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