When Good Board Members Have Bad Ideas
If you have worked at a nonprofit organization, this has happened to you. A great and involved board member walks into your office and says, “I have an idea for this organization”....and then you sit there for 20 minutes trying to figure out how to tell this board member that the idea cannot happen....Oh, this happens! . Some helpful tips: Be Strategic: Is that board member’s great idea aligned with your board approved strategic plan? If not, let the board member know your priorities relate to implementing the plan approved by the full board. Be honest! Sit down and have an open conversation about the obstacles to the proposed idea. This is where cost to raise a dollar conversations are important if it is a fundraising idea. Data is important! Before anyone says "Everyone wants us to..." or "I have heard from a ton of people that..." or “everyone is doing this”...use a free online survey tool to find out exactly what your constituency is thinking, needing and wanting. Surveying ideas before implementation can be very helpful. Surveys are free and results are priceless! . Be open to new ideas. Sometimes we’re so focused on our own ideas we skip over really listening to our board members. Be a good listener and vet the idea thoroughly. Those out of the box ideas actually work sometimes!