Board education should be an ongoing effort that builds on an effective, formal orientation program and is informed by regular board self-assessment.
Continuous — and collective — learning opportunities will help deepen your board members’ understanding of their roles and responsibilities and of your organization and the environment in which it operates, which, in turn, will increase their effectiveness and value to your organization.
Unfortunately, board education is often overlooked and underused. According to Leading with Intent 2017, 69 percent of organizations use written resources to educate board members, while more interactive educational activities — such as trainings, seminars, and webinars — are far less common.
By investing time and resources in board education, you will be able to deepen your board members’ commitment to your organization, strengthen their understanding of the board’s role, and cultivate a culture of ongoing board improvement. BoardSource recommends all boards formalize a new member orientation process, build educational activities into board meetings, schedule retreats for exploration of complicated issues, and support ongoing learning by providing their members easy access to information about board leadership and governance.