TSB 036: Onboarding an Influx of New Board Members Part 2

board development governance growth leadership nonprofit the saturday boardroom Jul 15, 2023
TSB 036: Onboarding an Influx of New Board Members Part 2

Read Time: 2 minutes

This week's tip:  5 Essential Tips for Preparing New Board Members for their First Board Meeting.

Last week, we went over the Board's roleToday, I want to share some valuable tips on how to help new board members get off to a great start by preparing them for their first board meeting.

Let's dive in!

1. Begin with a Warm Welcome:
Remember the excitement you felt when you joined your first board? Well, your new members feel the same way. To ensure a positive start, take the time to give them a warm welcome. Share a personalized message to introduce them to the rest of the board in preparation for the meeting. This will help them feel valued and connected right from the start.

2. Provide an Orientation Packet:
Starting a new role can be overwhelming, especially when it comes to board meetings. To ease their transition, create an orientation packet tailored to new board members. Include essential information such as the organization's mission, strategic plan, bylaws, and previous meeting minutes. This will give them a clear understanding of the organization's goals and activities.

3. Assign a Mentor:
Nothing beats the power of a supportive mentor. Pairing new board members with experienced ones fosters a collaborative atmosphere and ensures a smooth onboarding process. Encourage mentors to share their insights, answer questions, and offer guidance. This approach not only helps new members adapt quickly but also creates a sense of camaraderie within the board.

4. Encourage Pre-Meeting Preparation:
Preparing for board meetings is crucial for effective participation. Encourage your new board members to review the meeting agenda and relevant materials beforehand. By doing so, they can familiarize themselves with the topics, understand the context, and come prepared with thoughtful questions and suggestions. This proactive approach will help them contribute meaningfully to the discussions from day one.

5. Foster an Inclusive Environment:
Creating an inclusive environment is key to nurturing a productive and collaborative board. During the first meeting, make sure every board member has a chance to introduce themselves and share their background. Encourage existing board members to actively engage with new members, making them feel comfortable and valued. By fostering open communication and mutual respect, you'll set the stage for a board of directors that thrives on collaboration and diverse perspectives.

I hope these suggestions inspire you to welcome and prepare your new board members for their exciting journey ahead. By investing in their success, you're investing in the future of your organization. Together, let's make an impact!

Next week, we'll prepare them for fundraising and serving on a committee. 

That's all for today. I'll see you again next Saturday!


Whenever you're ready, there are three ways we can help you:

  1. Register for one of our upcoming workshops here
  2. Book me to speak at your upcoming event here.
  3. Explore our consulting services here.
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