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“Board Forward is a must-read for volunteer board members in any industry or profession. Current issues explore matters of direct relevance to boards, and the Board Forward archives are a rich source of useful information on literally hundreds of different board-oriented topics.”
—Kristen L. Straka, DNP, RN, CPN, NEA-BC
2016-2018 President, Society of Pediatric Nurses

The Board Member Recruiting Challenge
Finding and recruiting new members to serve on the board is not only one of the most important responsibilities of an association’s board of directors — it’s also one of the most challenging. Roughly 80 percent of nonprofits are actively recruiting between one and six board members, according to the most recent “Leading with Intent” survey from BoardSource. In addition, 58 percent of nonprofit leaders say the process of recruiting new board members is difficult. That’s because it’s not about finding people to fill seats, said Steve Bova, executive director at Financial and Insurance Conference Planners (FICP), it’s about finding the right people.
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Brand New: How Two Associations Rebranded and Refreshed
Having a great brand goes far beyond logo, fonts and color palette. It starts with understanding the marketplace and recognizing what makes your organization different, what you do better than the others. Here’s how two organizations — the Events Industry Council and the Research Chefs Association — executed successful rebranding initiatives.
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Three Reasons Why You Need a Document Retention Policy
To effectively manage the volumes of digital and hard copy documents the typical association produces and collects, boards should consider having a document retention/destruction policy. The policy’s purpose is to identify the responsibilities of staff, volunteers, board members, and even independent contractors or consultants to either maintain or delete documents at the appropriate time, explained Jennifer Chandler, vice president of the National Council of Nonprofits. Chandler provided three reasons why boards should consider one.
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The Benefits of Fear-Setting
Author, entrepreneur and corporate advisor Tim Ferriss recently gave a TED Talk in which he cited stoicism as the tool that has enabled him to avoid self-paralysis and make some of his best business decisions. He stated even the most confident of decision-makers should think of stoicism as an operating system for thriving in high-stress environments and for making better choices...
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Why People Don’t Speak Up in Virtual Meetings
In too many organizations, according to the author’s research, people in the decision-making chain fail to speak up and offer potentially valuable input and insights during critical situations. This can result in bad decisions being made and bad behavior going unchecked. Perhaps nowhere is this more evident than in virtual meetings...
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There’s Always Time for Talent

Whether you believe that human talent is innate, learned early on or developed throughout life, everyone knows talent when they see it, and people – as well as associations – with more talent certainly do better than those with less, all else equal. Talent is important and therefore worth understanding.

Boards and the Benefits of Being Prepared

In the face of an industry crisis, members turn to their association’s leadership for information and guidance. Because of this, board members must be prepared for both the foreseeable and the unexpected to best serve their members.

Governance: It’s Like Riding a Bicycle

Specific and clear direction combined with flawless execution – a combination of a great front and back wheel working together – makes for a successful 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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