The Care & Feeding of Your Board Members

board training (2)

by: David Gee, Associate Vice President, HUB Philanthropic Solutions

Board members are people too!

In fact, they are some of the most important people in your organization’s entire network. That’s why it is so important to be proactive in terms of keeping them engaged, inspired and motivated.

Now, the simple truth here is that we all know this. We all value the heck out of our volunteer leadership and each and everyone one of us has good intentions when it comes to keeping these particular VIPs happy, right?

Nevertheless… because there’s always so much work to be done in the day-to-day and so many goals to accomplish, occasionally we might take our board member relationships for granted. Sometimes we get hyper-focused on bringing new folks into the tent and forget to pay attention to good people who are holding up the proverbial tent posts for us right now.

The good news is that this is a pretty easy issue to remedy. Add “Board Member Care & Feeding” to your monthly work plan and make sure that your ongoing donor stewardship efforts always include your volunteer leaders. A few examples to consider:

  • Have a staff person they don’t know or client call then to thank them for their service and support.
  • Thank their spouse/partner for “sharing” them with the organization. The time away from home and family is a sacrifice and one worth recognizing.
  • Go see them to check-in on how their board experience is going. Ask what they would like to know more about or how you could help them in their role.

At the end of the day, simply determine the best way for you to acknowledge, appreciate and engage your board members and make it a priority. They deserve nothing less and, quite frankly, we cannot afford to fall short in how we care for the people who have stepped up to serve.


David Gee is a seasoned development professional with particular expertise in capital campaigns, major gifts and donor stewardship. David joined the HUB Philanthropic Solutions team after serving as The Chicago Bar Foundation’s Director of Development. Prior to that, he spent 18 years working as a professional actor in Chicago. Among his volunteer activities, David serves on the Donors Forum’s Resource Development Committee, the Development Committee for All Chicago and as the Local School Council Chair at Beaubien Elementary School.


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