Thought Leadership

How can the board support their executive director?

Understand that your ED is under tremendous pressure to ensure continuity of services – virtually manage staff, manage donor communication and seek new sources of funding. Within this context, it is important for the board to have constant contact with the ED. Ask not only about the work but also how they are doing. Make them feel supported, and that this is a team effort and you are there to help.

Make sure your outreach is coordinated through the Board Chair or Committee Chairs. Have them direct traffic on what the ED needs to the relevant board member. Think of sending appropriate tokens of appreciation – handwritten notes, gourmet food as an expression of support – again coordinated by a designated person on the board.

Santushi Kuruppu, October 2020