Board training

Designing a Great Board Orientation

One of the most common refrains we hear when we work with Boards of Directors who are struggling is that they were not given any real training or support when they joined. In any situation, it takes a while to truly understand an organization and figure out how best to support it; without some good training when they start, Board members will easily feel lost, disengaged, and ill-prepared to be the stewards of the organization.

So here is some free but high value advice from us over here at COCo: if you don’t have a robust Board orientation, now is the time to build one! To help you do that, we dug up three tools that can help get you started.

  1. This introduction to onboarding your Board from the National Council of NonProfits is clearly explained, and reminds you that Board orientation is also personal for each new board member you have. Keep in mind with resources from the US to adapt the legal and financial information for our Canadian context.
  2. This guide from Nelson Strategic Consulting is more of a facilitation guide for your Board orientation, helping how to make a board training engaging, interesting, and practical, including doing some scenarios and visioning.
  3. This third resource, in PDF, from Beth Deazeley, has a lot more detail about what to include in an orientation package, and also emphasizes the importance of a “human touch”.

If you have gone through a Board orientation, what were the most useful things you learnt in Board training? We’d love to hear!

Download (PDF, 130KB)