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Board Essentials: Collaborating in the Community

Board members frequently wonder “What’s my job?” And when it’s not clear what the job of the board is, members will wander into tasks that aren’t the rightful work of the board.

So it’s important for the Board to have a conversation with the CEO of the nonprofit and get clarity on what the job is. There ought to be a job description for the CEO. And there also should be a job description for the Board. And one of the jobs is communicating with key groups in the community.

Who are those groups? Who are the groups in the nonprofit’s community, in its sphere that it wants to collaborate with to deliver its mission? There are groups in the community….it may be churches, government offices, schools, health care providers, arts organizations. There are all sorts of groups doing good work in the community. The nonprofit should identify those who can provide the best benefit. The best bang for the buck. And there should be some focused effort to work with these, and have good discussion with the board on how best to proceed to make that collaboration happen.

There can be a degree of spontaneity to this. But discussing who your partners/stakeholders are and how best to approach them, and to engage your board members in reaching out in their normal course of community involvement will prove very beneficial to your nonprofit organization.

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