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“I find something of value in each month's Board Forward. The articles are well-written and highly relevant to my role as a non-profit board member.”
—Claudia Zacharias,
President & CEO, BOC
Board Member, Institute for Credentialing Excellence (ICE)

The Essential Role of the Chief Elected Officer
By Henry S. Givray, Chairman of the Board, SmithBucklin

The role of chief elected officer for a volunteer-governed organization is referred to as president or chair in an association’s bylaws. A chief elected officer is analogous to chairman of the board of directors of a corporation. For the purposes of this article, I use “chair” interchangeably with chief elected officer...
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Understanding the Needs of Members
Most board members have probably had a member of the association approach them at a reception or meeting and tell them all the things that should be improved. As board members know, not every idea is actionable and not every complaint is valid. The ideas or concerns of one individual also may not be representative of a significant portion of the members or the organization as a whole...
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The Rationale for a Social Media Policy
For all its virtues as a tool to connect with membership and advocate for the association, social media can be a double-edged sword for association board members if not used correctly. Consider this nightmare scenario: a board member tweeted praise for a speaker — and the event in general — during a conference session...
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Cultivating Curiosity
New research shows that curiosity is much more important to organizational performance than was previously thought. Cultivating it at all levels helps organizations adapt to uncertain market conditions and external pressures...
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Why Data Culture Matters
Establishing a healthy organizational data culture can accelerate the application of analytics, amplify their power, and maneuver associations away from risky outcomes. But you can’t import data culture and you can’t impose it. The article’s authors detail several key principles that underpin a healthy data culture...
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Reflections on National Volunteer Week

There were many moments of heroism in the aftermath of Hurricane Harvey last fall in Houston, but one in particular stood out to me. You may remember the video. A group of about 15 people locked hands to create a human lifeline to rescue a man trapped in his SUV, which was submerged in the floodwaters.

A Guide to Board Behavior and Decision-Making

Many associations adopt a set of principles - often called a code of conduct, a statement of expectations, or something similar - designed to guide the board's decision-making and behavior. Boards develop such guides to instill trust in the integrity of the board and reinforce board members' commitment to the values of the association.

Engagement: The Other Element of Growth

In one sense, membership growth is about finding new members to join an association. In another, it's about retaining members that are already in the association.


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Board Forward is published 10 times a year by SmithBucklin, the association management and services company more organizations turn to than any other. SmithBucklin has served volunteer board members for more than 60 years.


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