Leadership Tips for Fundraisers
by the Booster Clubs of America
Published by the Booster Clubs of America
LEADERSHIP TIPS FOR DIRECTORS
As a member of your organizations board of directors you have been chosen by your peers as a leader in the club. Possibly you have just been elected or you may be an "old hand." In either case your job is an important one with much responsibility.
The function of the board of directors is to establish and review major policy and plans of the group. Board members have specific legal and fiscal responsibilities to the members of the club, depending upon the degree and level of your club's organization.
Your job as a board member will involve working cooperatively with your president, your fellow board members, and club members.
This brochure is designed to help you achieve goals as a booster board member.
REPRESENTING YOUR MEMBERSHIP
Your membership looks to you for representation of their ideas and for you to make your own contribution. Success will largely depend upon your ability as a director. Some of these suggestions may help:
- Your organization has a constitution and your by-laws stating its purpose, objectives and methods of operation. Get acquainted with them to such an extent that you can easily discuss them at any time. If your club lacks a constitution and by-law, contact Booster Clubs of America for samples.
- Find out what your memberships' needs are; then satisfy them by intelligently introducing their wishes at the proper time and place with suggestions for the proper course of action.
- Criticism is a thoroughly democratic custom and highly constructive if you're completely informed on the subject and know when and how to present it.
- Your president is responsible for aiding you and can be a great help. Discuss your directorship with him. He is continually working with problems of the booster club and can offer valuable suggestions.
- Avoid entering into cliques or factional politics. They are detrimental to any organization and your responsibility is to all the members, of the booster club.
- Your president can advise you which programs require attention and your concentration should be focused on these areas. At the same time he or she welcomes your insight and opinion.
- Members of the board of directors can be held individually or collectively liable if someone decides to challenge the legality of your club's actions.
- Make all efforts constructive. Always build a stronger club which reflects the needs of the members and the community.
- Club directors are responsible to the entire club and community and not just a small sector. The statesmanship of a director is measured by his ability to judge and plan on the basis of overall considerations.
- Your role as a club director is to guide. To do this effectively you must address yourself to the major problems facing the club and not to concern yourself with insignificant administrative problems better assigned to others.
- DO YOUR HOMEWORK! A director can only be effective if he or she is informed. It is imperative that you study the issues and details relevant tot the subjects about which you must make a decision.
WORKING WITH YOUR PRESIDENT
The position your president holds is one of great responsibility. You can help him considerably by offering accurate information and keeping him informed with respect to current membership needs. Your greatest contribution to him and your membership is your intelligent and active participation in your board of directors meetings. To make every meeting productive you must be prepared and contribute. Here are a few suggestions:
- When an agenda is issued prior to the meeting, study it carefully. If there is any item on it you do not completely understand, contact the president and ask him/her to brief you.
- During the meeting stick to the agenda. Offering subjects for discussion not appearing on it impedes the meeting. Wait until the president asks for discussion on subjects not appearing on the agenda.
- Learn the exact purpose of the meeting and determine in advance how you are going to contribute.
- Keep your responses short and to the point.
- When you speak, do it clearly in a voice everyone can hear. Make certain everyone is listening . . . you can't offer your remarks against a half dozen side conversations. The presiding officer should insure that a desirable atmosphere exists.
- Side conversations are poor taste and slow the meeting. You are in there to speak to the group. Whispers are distracting and should be avoided.
- If you think some of your remarks escaped the others, repeat them.
- If your remarks are lengthy or involved, sum them up at the end of your discussion. Somebody may have forgotten your objective before you have finished.
- Should aimless discussions arise on subjects that require study or research, stop them with a motion that a study committee be appointed. This is one of the best methods of moving a meeting along and adjournment on time.
- Don't hesitate to comment, criticize constructively or disagree. Know your subject and ask for support from members who believe as you do.
- If you disagree with the speaker, ask questions at the proper time. Make him/her clarify his/her remarks; pinpoint them in a direct summation everyone can understand.
- If you have comment, ask for the floor rather than joining in aimless group discussion. What you have to say is a genuine contribution, don't lose it in confused conversation.
- There will always be dissenters or those with different points of view on particular subjects. Ask others to summarize their convictions. This permits a more thorough examination of an idea that could be highly constructive when completely understood.
- Hurriedly-passed motions usually don't receive the consideration they deserve. Better to table them until the next meeting than to pass a motion you will regret later.
- After the meeting ask yourself if you have made a genuine contribution. If you are in doubt, ask your president. He or she will be glad to give you an honest and accurate opinion as they have experienced many meetings and consulted with many other directors and members.
WORKING WITH YOUR OFFICERS
Whether he/she is called president, executive director, vice president, secretary, manager, or executive officer it does not alter the fact that these individuals are your officers, and are eager to help you in your role as a director.
Occasionally one of the officers may ask you to organize a committee. You may wish to consult with another officer for recommendations regarding persons interested in the subject your committee is to consider. He/she might also offer suggestions as to how your committee can accomplish its objectives.
At times you may suggest new activities, or a change in present activities. Before offering such suggestions, it would be wise to consult with a single officer as to whether or not your proposal fits into the clubs policy.
At times you may wish to offer suggestions but for personal reasons do not care to be identified with the. Should this situation arise, your president can be instrumental in having yours offered anonymously. Although officers serve as the administrative leaders of the club, they are dependent upon your support and guidance as a representative of the members. As one who is close to the membership, your responsibility in representing member needs and desires even when they may be at odds with current established thinking is a vital one. Constant and effective communications between you and your officers is imperative.
Your term on the board of directors is significant for the organization and you personally. The goals you set for yourself and for the board will determine the direction the club will take during the coming years. Keep those goals in front of you as you plan out the year ahead, and how those goals relate to the needs of the membership and the community.
Use the thoughts in this booklet as a guide as you approach your responsibilities on the board of directors. As you achieve your goals, your mark on the board of directors will be one of accomplishment and influence over the future course of the organization.
About the Author:
Published by the Booster Clubs of America and reprinted with permission.
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