The plan will start with an orientation process that will include a one-year development plan for the new board members. A development plan will include a senior board member to mentor and provide resources and training around board roles and responsibilities for the first year.

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Providing a mentor makes the orientation process friendlier and tends to accelerate learning.

We have found by providing a mentor it makes the orientation process friendlier and tends to accelerate learning. The mentor is available to answer questions and to guide the newcomer. A mentor can be a new member’s go-to person, answering questions that come up and encouraging participation.

Greater Mission will also help Agencies by:

• Establishing concrete learning objectives for board members and long-term goals that you can measure and celebrate. If the prospective candidate is well-versed in board leadership, then develop a less formal plan that includes scheduled discussions and updates to gather the board member’s feedback and share your feedback on how things are going.

• Secure visible support, involvement, and commitment from the highest levels of the board and staff. Involve the governance committee in developing, implementing, and evaluating the program.

• Determine how you will pair mentors and mentees (this will depend on your goals and learning objectives). Consider involving both staff and board members as mentors. When necessary, be willing to look outside your organization for mentors; for example, your governance committee chair might ask a governance committee chair in a sister organization to be his or her mentor.

Greater Missions Board Development plan will also look at board members who have held previous board positions, that can benefit from a refresher course around conflicts of interest and financial oversight. If the board member is well versed in basic responsibilities, we will look at offering a more in-depth training around a specific topic, like financial oversight and audits.

How can Greater Mission help you?