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Elevating Your Board Membership

Is your board comprised of members who love the health care organization’s mission? While that is a wonderful start, it’s simply not enough. As a board member, one must also make a commitment not only to care about but also to meaningfully elevate your organization’s mission.

How do you get the right board members around your table? Philanthropy leaders must connect organizational purpose to individual purpose that includes board members’ own values, passions, beliefs and visions. You don’t need a board that looks good on paper. You need a board who will actually roll up their sleeves to actively contribute to the noble work of your organization. To elevate your board, start by individually engaging each potential leader with this sample checklist of key questions and thoughts:

  • Tell me about your first encounter with our organization. What has been your experience with us since then?

  • What first kindled your interest in our mission?

  • What do you believe in and care about that connects you to the mission here?

  • Tell me about your core values, beliefs and passions?

  • What are your core values that could be extended through this work?

  • Tell me about your philanthropic goals?

  • What is important to you and what legacy do you want to leave?

  • What impact do you want to have on this work, this community and this world?

  • What about our mission gives you hope or joy?

  • How do you see us best partnering?

  • What ideas or suggestions do you have that would help elevate our work?

Evaluate responses through the lens of individual answers and purpose to determine if and how they align with your purpose and mission. Do they know, understand and want to further that which the health care organization deems most important, not only within the hospital walls but also for the greater good of the entire community? By making these connections between your organization and your board members, you will elevate not only your board but also your mission impact.

Accordant Checklist_Elevating Board Membership
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About the Author: Betsy Chapin Taylor, FAHP, is CEO of Accordant. She can be reached or through LinkedIn.


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The Accordant Team has published a number of books to advance the efforts of health care philanthropy and help development leaders everywhere. 

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Accordant is honored to collaborate with American Hospital Association Trustee Services to provide issue papers, templates and webinars to support the involvement of healthcare trustees and foundation board members in advancing philanthropy. These resources can also be found on the AHA Trustee website.

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