Effectively Engaging Your Board and Event Committee
Are you getting a lackluster performance out of your board or event committee? Are you not producing the results you had desired? Are you rallying the teams and just not getting anyone to bite? We feel your pain! Effective boards and event committees are essential in creating outreach lists for invitations, sponsorships, and cultivating new donors, so their lack of involvement can be a significant problem to your bottom line.
Whether your board or event committee is uninvolved, hard to engage and excite, or just totally unresponsive, there are several ways to turn the team around. When considering this turn around, it’s important to understand the problem in order to plan for an appropriate solution. Thus, we have identified several common issues we have seen in our work and possible solutions:
The social loafer. We often assume that working in teams is a productive way to combine skills and that by working together we will accomplish more; however the phenomenon of social loafing suggests otherwise. Because there are many helping hands and often a lack of clearly defined roles within the group, members often feel less responsibility to the tasks at hand. To avoid social loafing in your board or committee, assign specific tasks with due dates to individual members. With a clear goal and plan to conquer their tasks, the group will begin to move forward harmoniously.
The overwhelmed. Rather than asking each member of the Board or Committee to offer a slew of names and companies of potential donors, invitees and sponsors, break your ask to them into several smaller asks. By limiting their focus and the amount of effort required at a given time, you are likely to get more responses faster. For example, if you are asking the board/committee for a round of potential sponsor recommendations, do only that. Once you have received feedback from the group, you can then ask for potential attendee recommendations. This breakdown of asks will get you the information you need and will help the board/committee to not feel overwhelmed.
The overcommitted. People have good intentions to complete their responsibilities, but life and work sometimes get in the way. It is easy for someone to volunteer to take on a task when sitting in a meeting, however it is not always easy for them to take the time required to complete that task. To mitigate this risk, schedule regular check-in meetings (on a specific recurring date and time) with the board or committee to discuss progress. Not only will this add a level of accountability to the team, but it will also keep you informed of the progress on tasks.
One final thought is if you have a board or committee with a competitive nature engaging them in a contest can spark their interest. Create a goal, find a prize that would excite the team (outside of just being the champion) and roll out a contest that everyone can participate in. Make sure you have ways to track and report progress, so that the competitors know where their adversaries stand.
We hope that you can use these strategies to recognize the breakdowns in your board or committee engagement and yield some positive change. At TME, we specialize in managing groups and holding people accountable and we have implemented similar systems with many of our clients. If you need support, please contact us.