Extension and Ag Research News


NDSU Extension offers training for board management

Contact your local NDSU Extension agent for training and resources for your board or organization.

Members of North Dakota State University Extension’s leadership and civic engagement team are ready with training and resources to help the state’s boards and organizations meet their leadership needs.

“The opportunity to serve in a leadership role in North Dakota is readily available, and the need for leaders is great,” says Jodi Bruns, NDSU Extension leadership and civic engagement specialist.

A study from the University of Minnesota Extension shows that North Dakota has the highest demand for governmental leaders in the country. On the nonprofit side, one out of every 19 citizens in the state would need to serve on a board to meet the need for nonprofit leadership.

“In our work with board management and best practices, and board succession planning, we have discovered that citizens have a passion for community projects and initiatives, but they feel ill-equipped to serve,” says Bruns.

Other reasons people give for not volunteering to serve include not understand the mission of the organization, not knowing what to expect, and feeling unqualified or intimidated by existing board members.

Those already serving may also struggle to understand the mission of the organization or the expectations of their role. In other cases, board members may be frustrated by inefficient meetings.

NDSU Extension specialists offer these tips for boards and organizations to recruit and engage board members:

  • Ensure that you have a clear organizational mission.
  • Provide board members with a position description.
  • Consider the board’s public image. People want to work for a winning team.
  • Assess your constitution or bylaws. Evaluate the organizational mission and ensure it addresses the greatest needs.
  • When recruiting for open board positions, consider these questions: Who does your board represent, and does the board membership reflect that? Who is not represented on the board?

Contact an NDSU Extension agent in your county to learn more about training opportunities and resources for your board or organization.

NDSU Agriculture Communication – July 7, 2023

Source: Jodi Bruns, 701-210-0445, jodi.bruns@ndsu.edu

Editor: Elizabeth Cronin, 701-231-7881, elizabeth.cronin@ndsu.edu

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