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mission Matters

Responsibility #8: Enhancing the Organization’s Public Standing

July 18, 2013

The Board’s role as ambassador and how speaking positively within the community is a critical ingredient for success of the modern not-for-profit organization.

As you know from earlier discussions in this series, the Board of the not-for-profit organization functions as the eyes and ears of the community that the organization serves. The Board is the liaison between the organization and the community. Not only does the organization serve the community but it relies upon the community for the resources needed to provide essential services.

The Board should clearly articulate the organization’s mission, its accomplishments, and its goals to the public and help to garner support from the community. The Board members are the ambassadors, advocates and community representatives to government leaders, the media, current and potential funding sources, etc.

Everyone who knows a Board member should also know that they are a member of the board of an important not-for-profit organization serving the community. Their interaction with you may be the only interaction they may have with the organization you serve and you will want to share with them the importance and value that the organization plays in the life of the community.

As a volunteer, the board member has a degree of credibility with the general public that is different from and, in many cases, better than that of the organization’s staff. With the exception of the CEO, the board member’s knowledge of the organization, its mission, its goals, its long and short-range needs are best known by the Board. This knowledge should be shared with the community to the extent appropriate. When the Board is actively promoting the organization throughout the community the probability for success increases substantially.

When your organization has special events, attendance by Board members is very important. First, it demonstrates support from those closest and most knowledgeable about the organization’s activities. It is difficult to garner support from the wider community when those closest to the organization are not seen supporting it. Second, a good distribution of board members mingling with other special event guests will help increase the interest in the organization as casual guests learn more and more about its programs and services.

Organizations need support from the community they serve and the Board’s role as ambassador speaking positively out in the community is a critical ingredient in the success of the modern not-for-profit organization. As a Board member, you should embrace your ambassador role enthusiastically as it is both personally rewarding and rewarding for the organization as well.

Read more on not-for-profit boards:
Board Development Series

As one of the largest CPA firms in Boston, KLR is unique because they service over 220 not-for-profit organizations with compliance and consulting services. We have extensive experience helping Nonprofit organizations regarding boards, and board responsibilities, charitable contributions, taxes and 990 filing requirements. The KLR Nonprofit team is active in our local community and not-for-profit organizations, visit our Facebook page to see photos from our latest volunteer event.

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