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“Nadia was our consultant as part of the Office of New Bostonians and the Haiti Fund Capacity Building initiative in 2014. She has really gone beyond what she signed up for to help CVC UNIDO move forward. She is very detail oriented and came up to speed on our agency and the Cape Verdean community very quickly to provide a multitude of services. She has helped us enormously organize the grant writing process, develop templates and kick start our fundraising initiative and developed a new website. Most importantly, she is always available to support us. I can’t thank her enough for all that she has done to help me, personally, grow into a leadership role.”
by Mary Ann Lomba, Executive Director CVC UNIDO

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What to do with board members who do nothing?

Nadia Prescott

There’s nothing more demotivating than coming to a board meeting and finding the same one or two people never show up. Its sets the wrong tone for other board members, and they are more than likely watching to see how the situation will be handled. So whose responsibility is it to “do something” about a board member who does not show up consistently, or who does not carry their weight, especially in a small organization that relies on board members to be a working board?

The responsibility is yours. And the problem only gets worse if you don’t address it. First things first – confirm that you were clear in expressing board participation expectations during orientation. If so, then ask either your board chair or chair of the governance committee to find the time to talk one-on-one with the board member about regular attendance.

Make sure you learn the reasons why that person isn’t coming regularly. Perhaps they have a personal problem that needs to be addressed, and taking a short term leave of absence is the best solution. Listen carefully without making assumptions, and then evaluate whether or not that board member has the time and commitment to participate in a meaningful way.