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Three essential factors for inducting new board members

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If you’ve recently held your AGM, you’ll likely have new board members to welcome into your not-for-profit organisation.

Supporting new members with a seamless induction process is elemental in how the overall board can perform.

So how can you induct your newest board members and help them hit the ground running?

Refer to your board's induction process

Having an induction process is good governance, so you should be able to refer to yours when welcoming new members.

And if you don’t currently have one, now is the time to start.

Induction process documentation should be part of the standard operating practice, tailored to suit the needs of your specific organisation.

You can include:

  • A welcome letter
  • An overview of the organisation’s mission, vision and values
  • A strategic planning review
  • Brief biographies to introduce the other board members
  • FAQs or key things your new member needs to know
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Provide insight into the strategic plan

Including a review of your NFP’s strategic plan helps board members understand the goals and objectives on a detailed level.

It provides them with clarity on the board’s overall purpose and can help them identify specific ways they can support the strategic plan through their own skills and experiences.

Sharing the strategic overview also gives you the opportunity to align that plan with your organisation’s current status and highlight where you’re at on the road to achieving your overall mission.

A new perspective can sometimes identify risks or strategic gaps as well, so encourage feedback and questions.

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Offer a transparent financial overview

While Chatham House rules might apply in board sessions, you need to ensure all members are fully across the status of the organisation, including the finances.

Transparency is integral to a healthy board, and sharing insight into the financial performance is a great way to foster that.

It also creates the opportunity for you to explain where support is most needed and how the board helps to manage finances.

Your financial overview doesn’t need to be anywhere near as in-depth as, say, the annual reports.

But it should clearly indicate components like the annual budget, current fundraising goals, grant funding opportunities, key external stakeholders and donors.

Make sure you also provide access to any essential financial documentation new board members might need, such as audit reports and other financial reports.

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Proper board inductions encourage organisational success

The governance of a not-for-profit organisation can be pivotal in its success.

Thorough induction of new members can improve board performance and cultivate a healthy culture throughout your organisation, as the board can so often set the tone.

Remember, you should tailor your induction process to suit your specific needs.

Every board will induct differently, but by including these three factors, you’re actively ensuring good governance and setting the board up for success.

You can find more NFP resources and articles through the links below:

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