You signed up to be a Board member and now you’ve changed your mind. Instead of quitting, you’ve decided to be a bad Board member and be asked off. What are some sure-fire ways to be the worst Board member ever? I surveyed my nonprofit friends to help you out. Here are the steps to how to be a bad Board member.
Step 1: Say no to any changes and voice your disapproval loudly and to everyone who will listen. Make sure you have long email chains to the entire Board when talking to just one or two will get the job done. Your ideas are the only ones that matter so any changes that are not proposed by you can’t be worth the risk. Stick to your guns. Be inflexible. Point out all the things that are wrong with the organization or other’s opinions and offer no solutions.
Step 2: Constantly propose new programs. Don’t ask the staff if it’s feasible and make sure you have no funds to support the program or align it with the organization’s mission, vision, or strategic goals.
Step 3: Make sure the budget never provides a living wage to the staff. It’s nonprofit work. Right?!? It doesn’t take any special skills or people to provide services. Besides, everyone is lazy anyway.
Step 4: Avoid the hard decisions. Don’t get suckered into that controversy! Be the good guy and don’t show up to Board meetings when you need to vote on the least worst decision. Make sure after the vote you refer to step number one to continue your disapproval about the vote.
Step 5: Refuse to fundraise. “It’s just money and you can get it from someone else. ” “It’s not your job, right?!?” “You are uncomfortable asking for money.” “You’re not using your contacts that way.” Use these excuses at every fundraising discussion. Yes, fundraising and giving are major responsibilities of any nonprofit Board so they will get rid of you ASAP. Right?
Step 6: Raise goals without current goals being met. There is nothing more frustrating than having your goals move constantly.
Step 7: Expect different results with the same methods. Make sure you use “because we’ve always done it that way” as many times as possible. Who needs innovation and new ideas?
Step 8: Make sure the organization has no direction. As a Board member, your responsibility is to give the organization goals and direction. Sherk that responsibility quick! Without one, the organization will remain stagnant and chase all kinds of shiny things.
Step 9: Ignore meeting etiquette. Come in late and not prepared by not reading the packet or agenda (see blog post for more information). Make sure you filibuster on every topic. Explain everything in a condescending way. Interrupt other Board members when you don’t have the floor at every opportunity.
Step 10: Make sure you don’t respect the talents of other Board members. Let’s face it, you are the whole reason anything gets done. What you bring to the Board is the only thing that matters! That CPA that was just recruited or professional Fundraiser on the Fundraising Committee really don’t know what they are talking about. Let’s keep it that way. Shoot down every suggestion and refer to step one every time they open their mouths- unless of course you say it 5 minutes after they do. Then, it’s a great idea!!
Step 11: Act in ways that are unethical on behalf of the organization. Putting the organization in danger either intentionally or unintentionally will definitely get you kicked off the Board. Putting your own agenda and interests above the organization’s is unethical and against conflict of interest agreements. Make sure you run your own agenda and it takes priority.
Thank you to all my friends who gave me their ideas. Follow these steps and you will be sure to not be asked back to the Board.