Orienting New Members to Boards of Directors

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    Orienting New
    Members to Boards of Directors

    © Copyright Carter
    McNamara, MBA, PhD

    Vast majority of content
    in this topic applies to for-profits and nonprofits. This book also covers this topic.


    Developing, Operating and Restoring Your Nonprofit Board - Book Cover

    Board orientation is intended to prepare
    new board members for their board role in the organization. Orientation
    is also extremely useful for all members to ensure they are operating
    from the same “script.” Whether done only with new members
    or with the entire board, orientation is a strong team-building
    activity that should be conducted once a year, either before a
    regular board meeting or during the retreat — particularly after
    new board members have been recruited.

    1. The board chair and the chief executive typically facilitate
    the orientation session.

    2. Ensure introductions and consider using name tags.

    3. Review several topics, including:
    – the Board Manual (see “Board Manual Index”)
    – mission, vision and values of the organization
    – some the organization’s history
    – roles and responsibilities of the board and the staff
    – administrative calendar which schedules major activities of
    the board
    – organizational chart, including the list of current and planned
    committees
    – about how the board conducts meetings, including relevant actions
    from the
    Roberts’ Rules of Order

    4. Ensure adequate time for questions and answers.

    5. Consider assigning a “buddy,” or current board member
    to help orient a new board member.

    6. Involve new members as soon as possible in relevant committees
    by asking new members to consider membership on a current or new
    committees.

    Return to Recruiting and Orienting
    New Board Members


    For the Category of Boards of Directors:

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