Board of Directors Development Shorts

River Network brings you this ‘shorts’ series on Board of Directors Development to highlight the various needs of boards in different stages of growth. Whether you’re with a completely volunteer-run organization, a fully staffed organization, or somewhere in between, this series is for you! We have best practices and considerations to ease the burdens of managing your board.

Spanish subtitles and English captions are available for all five videos below; click the gear icon, then “Subtitles/CC” to turn on.


Episode 1 – Volunteer-Run Organizations  

Join Hannah Mico for the first of five episodes in River Network’s Board Development ‘Shorts’ Series: we hope to give you a toolbox of strategies to implement no matter what kind of Board you’re working with. Episode 1 is focused on organizations that are completely volunteer-run, with no paid staff at all. In these organizations, the Board is often referred to as a “working Board,” as they are filling the roles of organizational oversight as well as carrying out the organization’s mission. We’ll touch on four critical topics for Boards at this stage: (1) structuring bylaws & recruiting board members, (2) managing a working board, (3) the use and structure of effective committees, and (4) annual work planning.

Download the Blank Board Inventory and the Annual Workplan Template.

Episode 2 – Taking ‘The Leap’

Join Hannah Mico for the second of five episodes in River Network’s Board Development ‘Shorts’ Series. This episode is focused on Boards that are in “The Leap” stage of growth, hiring paid staff for the first time. We’re hoping the information provided in this episode makes your transition to paid staff easier, and reduces costly and time-consuming turnover. Ideally, you’ll only have to “leap” once! Major topics in this episode include (1) onboarding & orientation of new staff, including the right systems to have in place, (2) shared leadership between the board & staff, and (3) strategic planning & shifting workplans.

Download the Shared Leadership Grid.

Episode 3 – Keeping the Board Engaged

Join Diana Toledo for the third episode in this series, which will focus on building effective boards in well-established organizations and keeping them engaged.  We will review a number of important aspects of boards at this organizational stage, including how their roles and responsibilities evolve, building a strong partnership between the Board and staff, preparing for leadership transitions, and building a cohesive team.

Download the “Five Dysfunctions” handout from Patrick Lencioni or watch Patrick’s video.

Episode 4 – Evaluating Yourselves

In the fourth episode of River Network’s Board Development ‘Shorts’ Series, Brenna Goggin will discuss evaluation. Whether you are an all volunteer run organization or one that has staff, taking the time to evaluate yourselves, the Executive Director, and the organization are important. We’ll review how Boards can evaluate themselves, forms to use when evaluating the Executive Director and ideas on how to determine how the organization is doing without just focusing on the numbers!

Download the Board Evaluation Template.

Episode 5 – Effective Board Meetings

In the final episode of River Network’s Board Development ‘Shorts” Series, Brenna Goggin covers everyone’s favorite topic: Board Meetings! The tools and recommendations we’ll include will make your Board meetings more engaging and effective. We’ll pull from a variety of resources to cover issues like what to include in a Board report, scheduling standing Board agenda items, utilizing consent agenda, and finally sharing meeting facilitation responsibilities.  

Download the Standing Board Meeting Agenda:

Resource Materials