Give/Get: It's Not What It Used To Be
Dear Governance Matters,
Our board chair has just offered to resign due to the economic downturn and her own circumstances. She has devoted so much of her time and energy to the organization during the past 6 years that we really don't want to lose her leadership but our board members are expected to make a sizable yearly donation to the organization. What should we do?
Board members are often expected to "give or get" but that gift can take many forms. As Bob Edgar, president of Common Cause, puts it, board members should have two of four attributes: wealth, work, wisdom and wallop. (For a more detailed summary of his comments, click here.)
If your board chair can contribute skills, contacts, energy, wisdom or the leadership needed by the organization during trying times, keep her! But do so only after the executive or governance committee has assessed the needs of the organization and everyone understands the reasoning behind the change in policy.
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