Your Biggest Nonprofit Board Struggles, Ranked

During a recent Network for Good webinar, we wanted to know: “What’s your biggest problem with your board?” 

The responses were eye-opening. So many of you are struggling with uninvolved boards, members who don’t participate in fundraising, or board members who are resistant to change.  

The board struggles we heard mostly fall into four categories:  

  1. Board members aren’t involved enough 
  2. Board members aren’t fundraising on your organization’s behalf or donating themselves 
  3. Board members are resistant to change 
  4. Board and staff members are all confused about the breakdown of roles and responsibilities 

Here are some of the responses we received when we asked, “What’s your biggest struggle with your board?”

41% Under-Involved Board Members 

“Board members are so busy with their jobs and don’t seem to have enough time to give to the organization. 

“They have no personal connection, they are involved because someone has asked them and they want it on their resume only.” 

“My board does not understand what their real responsibility is – they see the Director as the person who is the worker bee.”

28% – Boards Aren’t Fundraising or Donating 

“Our board members often think their organization’s giving is theirs.” 

“My Board says, “I’m already doing all I can in my committee.” or “I’ve already given sizeably.”” 

“Our current board has never been expected to fundraise for many years.” 

17% – Board Members Are Stuck in Their Ways 

“My biggest issue is that the board I lead says “but we’ve always done it this way. Why should we do all this new stuff?” (even though the old stuff isn’t bringing success)” 

“Resistance to change in process, particularly with regard to technology & its use” 

“The biggest problem with my board is the culture they have been accustomed to – they have not been exposed to their role and responsibility with regard to fundraising.” 

14% – Staff and Board Roles Are Unclear  

“Our CEO is hesitant to open communications between staff and board” 

“Creating a balance to ensure the staff understand the role of the board and still go to the CEO first when they have an issue” 

“Biggest Problem: Not knowing the role of the board in philanthropy – and the board not knowing their board too.” 


Does this sound like your organization? We wrote an 
eGuide just for you. Download “How to Engage and Activate Your Nonprofit Board” to get your board back on track. Good luck! 

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