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Oh wow, every board chair needs to read this one! I found myself going "a-ha, a-ha" with every sentence. Especially the deep breathing! Leading a volunteer board is a delicate act and lotsa times there is little thanks. But thank you for your honesty!

Gail, thanks very much for your comment. You know, what you said about "little thanks" rings very true. I tried as much as possible - and I believe my board will back me up if you asked them - to give credit where it was due, share the limelight, etc. This can make a huge difference, I think, in the extent to which your board will work with/against you (not that anyone will ever admit to working "against" another board member, but they can either decide to pull their weight or do nothing).

#3 is especially important to not only be aware of but to put into practice. Great post that I'll share with my clients and members!

Thanks, Lori! I'm very glad the post was helpful. :)

You're so right that a volunteer leadership position can take a lot of time. I urge folks to be very clear on this point when recruiting volunteer leaders so they know what they're getting into.

Sandy Rees
Fundraising Coach

Thanks for stopping by, Sandy. One of the things we've tried to do at IABC/DC Metro is create "job descriptions" for each position that includes not just a description of the tasks, but also an estimate of time the position entails. They're not all complete, but hopefully the new board will complete them - that can be very helpful to give to incoming leaders and prospects.

Thanks for sharing your experience in a post that educates future volunteers, Shonali.

I want to echo #1. I surveyed my clients and learned that planning charity auctions can take more time than planning a wedding. Imagine sharing that fact when a chair is recruiting volunteers to help with an event. It would help to more clearly define significant amount of time ;-)

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