Target setting for voluntary board members

Last week I attended a cooking workshop hosted by the Eureko Achmea Academy in the Netherlands. 23 businesswomen were given the opportunity to network, to cook together, to eat together and to get to know each other better. There were many interesting people at the event from all sorts of organisations, profit and non-profit.

One of my dinner conversations was with the managing director of a Dutch NGO, which operates globally. It’s my opinion that board members, volunteers or not, should be given annual targets that they should meet. If the board members are unable to meet their targets, then they should be asked to leave the organisation. If they are not adding value, there is no value for the NGO.

If there are definite targets to be met,  perhaps prospective board members will think twice before accepting a board position and consider how they can add value and truly help an organisation before accepting the role. Non-executive board positions are often honorary but the strategy of an organisation also needs to be honoured.

The lady I was chatting to, had never considered the concept of target setting for board members, however she thought it was a great idea. What do you think? Do you think it’s fair to set targets for non-executive, voluntary board members of non profit organisations (NGOs).


3 thoughts on “Target setting for voluntary board members

  1. It doesn’t matter what capacity a person moves in, if he/she doesn’t set targets for improvement
    then they are not really doing what the position calls for.

  2. First to say Helen that i think it’s a fab idea for you all getting together, cooking and sharing ideas! When I visit NL hopefully I can join you on one of your escapades! Secondly, I do feel that any salaried person who works for a charity or non-profit organisation should be set targets but I am not sure that volunteers should be at that level. I would, however, say they should be given procedures to follow to ensure money isn’t wasted, that people use their time effectively but quite honestly I probably wouldn’t want to volunteer for a charity if I was scrutinised for every working moment – too stressful – as it would probably be when I retire and at that stage the last thing I want to hear is target setting!!!

    1. Thanks for commenting Susie. And I can understand the dilemma. I still believe board members, that are asked to become board members for use of their networks, their sound business advice or because they act as ambassadors, should be given targets; albeit judging the capacity that they are ‘hired’ in. In this way, I hope that the NGOs enjoy more benefit.

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