Do you wish that your organization had more “clout?” That you had more access to your community’s thought leaders and philanthropists?
Are you unsure how you should get to know the people in in your community whose opinions are seen as being the gold standard?
Here’s an excellent way to build those relationships. It’s not difficult and won’t feel awkward. And, most importantly, your community’s leaders will want to participate.
Create a Board Leadership Forum
Establish a “Board Leadership Forum” — a program of inviting important people to give short talks at each of your board meetings.
Yes, it’s that simple.
At every board meeting, schedule 15 minutes for a guest speaker. You can begin or end each board meeting with a short program.
If you do it at the end, you’ll have time for discussion and questions and perhaps even a glass of wine with your guest. And that end-of-meeting guest will also push your board to manage meetings well so they stay on schedule. After all, you won’t want to keep an important guest waiting.
Just 15 minutes?
Fifteen minutes, you might ask? Is that long enough?
Remember that short talks are common these days. A standard time for a TED talk is 12 minutes.
Who should you invite?
- Invite an influential person in your community to be a speaker in your Board Leadership Forum. Ask them to present something they are doing or working on that has relevance to your organization.
- You might invite a foundation director to talk about trends in philanthropy. You might invite a developer to talk about changes in the community.
- Or how about inviting the board chair from your local hospital to talk about specific challenges the hospital faces or new programs they are starting?
- Consider inviting your community’s lead philanthropists to speak about best practices in asking for gifts.
- Perhaps extend an invitation to a professor to talk about his research as it relates to your mission or programs.
This list is just a start. You’ll find that when you start inviting speakers, they’ll suggest others to invite.
Benefits of a Board Leadership Forum
This simple idea will bring you great results.
- You’ll engage the most influential people in your community by asking them to share their wisdom with your most important people.
- You’ll make your board meetings more interesting so the attendance will sky rocket.
- You’ll increase the reach and influence of your organization as more and more thought leaders come to know you and what you do and have a chance to meet your board members.
Not bad for only 15 minutes once per month!
And if you do it right, you’ll have community leaders calling you to participate! It’s a big win for everyone involved.
Who can you invite in your community? Share your ideas in the comments below.Engage thought leaders you never thought you could in 15 mins a month. #boardmeetings Click To Tweet