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Is COVID-19 Affecting Your Nonprofit Board Relationships?

Our world has been turned upside down and inside-out. While I enjoy a good thriller or science fiction movie with a suspenseful ending, I would have never guessed that a global pandemic would be more unpredictable than any fiction tale.

Now, more than ever, our work as nonprofit leaders and fundraisers is critical, even lifesaving for some individuals who depend on our agencies, charities, and nonprofit organizations.

The volunteers we count on cannot come on site to help during these times. The dollars we depend on are becoming scarcer. This is a time like no other. This is the time our boards of directors are more important than ever. Do they know that?

When was the last time you spoke to your board members? Like, actually picked up the phone and called them? Zoom meetings as a group are great but there’s nothing like that one-to-one connection with a phone call or individual video chat.

I have served on the board of many nonprofit organizations over the years. I always want to help, but sometimes, I’m uncertain as to how I can be of service now. The lack of communication often leaves board members adrift with no direction.

Don’t be like this example. Board members are a resource. They have pledged their time, talent, and treasure to your organization. Use them. Keep them informed. Ask for their help.

One of my favorite things to ask board members to do is to make thank you phone calls, or emails if they’re shy. Everyone gets ten donors with phone numbers and email addresses. Once they do it, they want to do it again. This is a great way to build donor stewardship, and they can do it from home!

The board president and the executive director have a special relationship. They should be in touch on a regular basis to support each other through this crisis.

Making the best use of your board volunteers isn’t limited to extraordinary times like these, but all the time. If you can steward your relationships with your board members during this crisis, you will have them engaged long after COVID19 has passed.


Michelle Crim, CFRE

Dynamic Development Strategies can help. We offer coaching and fundraising services for our nonprofit clients. We specialize in startup and smaller nonprofits because we understand your challenges. Please contact us for more information.

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