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“I find something of value in each month's Board Forward. The articles are well-written and highly relevant to my role as a non-profit board member.”
—Claudia Zacharias,
President & CEO, BOC
Board Member, Institute for Credentialing Excellence (ICE)

How to Effectively Onboard New Board Members
Serving on an association’s board of directors can be overwhelming for those who are not adequately prepared. Beyond the gravity of making decisions that could impact an entire profession or industry, board members play a specific, complex role within an association. The truth is, many volunteers become board members without knowing exactly what to expect, which may be due in part to the lack of proper orientation...
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Preparing for a Strategic Planning Session
One of the most important and impactful responsibilities of an association board of directors is developing a strategic plan. This document serves as the association’s blueprint, laying out its long-term goals and objectives, along with an action plan that outlines programs, initiatives, and strategies to achieve them...
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5 Tips to Limit Distractions at Board Meetings
Keeping board members engaged during meetings is not a new goal, but it is somewhat more complicated these days than it used to be. The ubiquity of smart phones and tablets makes it far easier for people to stay connected, but it also causes distractions. This certainly can be the case at association board meetings. Here are some tips that may help limit distractions and keep board members attentive and focused...
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If Strategy Is So Important, Why Don’t We Make Time for It?
Most leaders want to make more time for strategic thinking, but how many take the necessary steps to prioritize that important task? One obstacle is the cultural pressure to put in long hours. Tethering one's self to a desk may help you power through more emails and be seen as a busy leader, but it's rarely a recipe for innovative, strategic thinking...
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9 Simple Ways to Delegate
One of the key attributes of any top leader is the ability to delegate. Leaders can increase productivity and instill trust in others when they delegate effectively. “When your people know you trust them enough to delegate an important task, it boosts their motivation to get the job done,” says columnist Peter Economy. But there is an art to it, says Economy...
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Reflections on National Volunteer Week

There were many moments of heroism in the aftermath of Hurricane Harvey last fall in Houston, but one in particular stood out to me. You may remember the video. A group of about 15 people locked hands to create a human lifeline to rescue a man trapped in his SUV, which was submerged in the floodwaters.

A Guide to Board Behavior and Decision-Making

Many associations adopt a set of principles - often called a code of conduct, a statement of expectations, or something similar - designed to guide the board's decision-making and behavior. Boards develop such guides to instill trust in the integrity of the board and reinforce board members' commitment to the values of the association.

Engagement: The Other Element of Growth

In one sense, membership growth is about finding new members to join an association. In another, it's about retaining members that are already in the association.


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Board Forward is published 10 times a year by SmithBucklin, the association management and services company more organizations turn to than any other. SmithBucklin has served volunteer board members for more than 60 years.


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