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Improving Nonprofit Board Involvement – Podcast with City of Light

Listen to Episode Two – How to get your nonprofit board on board


Nonprofit board involvement is an area of focus many organizations would greatly benefit from if they took the appropriate steps to make improvements.

Nonprofit BoardWe had the pleasure of speaking with Nikki Hitchcock, founder and lead consultant of City of Light Consulting on this important topic.

With years of experience helping nonprofits with everything from crafting websites and designing logos to writing grants and developing social media strategies, the professionals at City of Light Consulting use their diverse skill sets to uplift organizations that need it most.

When presented with our discussion topic, Improving Nonprofit Board Involvement, it was no surprise that Nikki had a wealth of information to share.  

Nikki Highlighted Some Primary Steps Nonprofits Can Take to Improve Board Involvement: 

Have the Right Board

Nikki shared with us the importance of who we choose as members of our nonprofit boards to begin with!  So often administrators go after those who are very wealthy or have specific skill sets…

And while this isn’t entirely misguided, Nikki emphasized that the main focus should be on finding individuals who are already interested in your cause:    

“You want to choose people who will respond to you with, ‘Yes, I’m excited!  I’m so glad you called!’ opposed to ‘What do I need to do? What will be required of me?’”  

Acquiring board members you consider to be skilled, wealthy or even celebrity-like figures bears the assumption that their popularity and money will somehow transfer over to your organization…  

When in reality, unless they also happen to be passionate about your cause, these individuals aren’t going to be that involved or dedicated to your mission. 

Choosing your board members based on their shared passion for your nonprofit’s cause – people who would be excited to be a part of your mission – should be your primary focus, not their economic or social status!  

 Build Personal Relationships

Nikki shared with us the importance of getting to know each of your board members separately and in person.  

You can do this by simply having a coffee date with each of them and having a conversation about their skills, likes and dislikes, work history, experience, and so on…

This helps, not only with getting your board members more “on board” with your mission, but also with knowing which tasks are best suited for each member.  

With what you learn about your board members, you can play on their individual strengths, which in turn will help them feel more confident about how they’re promoting your organization.  Everybody wins! 

Provide the Right Tools

This ties back in with getting to know your board members.  In doing so, you’re more well-equipped to select the tools that will benefit them and you the most.  

The right tools – paired with the right tasks – will help them feel more confident and motivated to promote your cause.  

The energy and joy that naturally follows is bound to have a magnetic impact with any supporters or potential supporters they come into contact with.  

This also means that you should have a broad spectrum of tools at your disposal; social media channels for your board members to tap into, an up-to-date website they can share, printed supplies like brochures, and more.  

 The Takeaway…

To achieve stellar board involvement, Nikki suggests starting with a board that is really excited or using communication and relationship-building to excite your board.  Then moving that excitement into assigning the right roles and providing the right tools for your board members to feel confident and be successful in helping your nonprofit thrive!