Almost every year a new volunteer joins your board of directors. How do you make him or her feel welcome? We suggest:
Send a Welcome Packet to the Board
Include such items as:
- Welcome letter signed by the executive director and the board president.
- Description of the duties of board members.
- Copies of the minutes from last year’s board meetings. (Review the minutes first and send only relevant information -- no need to bury your new member in paper!)
- A copy of the latest strategic plan, if you have one.
- Board governing documents, including by-laws, policies, etc.
- A copy of the most current business plan, including the budget for the coming year.
- A list of all the board officers and board members, including address, phone number, e-mail address, fax number, and a brief bio.
- Committee descriptions, goals, and list(s) of committee members.
- A copy of all the brochures your organization issues.
At the first board meeting that the new members attend, be sure to introduce them and give a brief description of their backgrounds. Ask if they'd like to make any additional comments about their participation. Then have all of the other members introduce themselves. (It's probably a good idea to notify your members beforehand that they may be asked to say a few words of welcome, so that no one gets taken by surprise.)
Communicate to Members
Include an announcement about new board members in your newsletter, if you have one. At a minimum, write a letter to your staff and volunteers indicating who the new board members are; provide biographical information and a photo, if possible.
Inform the Public
Send out a press release about the new board members to your local newspaper(s). Include biographical info and photo(s).
The material in this publication is based on work supported by the U.S. Small Business Administration under cooperative agreement SBAHG-04-S-0001. Any opinions, findings and conclusions or recommendations expressed in this publication are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of the U.S. Small Business Administration. Updated May 2006