After four years of leading more than 300 pregnancy care centers to begin intentional men's programs there's one simple truth we've learned at Guys For Life. That is: "If the board of directors ain't on board with starting a men's program - T'aint nothing gonna get done about it - period."
At first glance that statement might sound harsh, even considered a hard edged thing to say by some. In reality it isn't a hard thing to say; it's one of the best things we could have discovered as an organization over time.
We've learned a highly qualified, strategic and purposeful board of directors who keep the main thing, the main thing, are responsible for a great number of uniquely selected initiatives . As a team they have got to be on board with a men's program as One-Team One Dream if a men's program is going to work well within their ministry model and have any chance of being successful.
Hence, should anyone want to start a men's program at a pregnancy care center, or like minded organization, we've developed a list of the top ten responsibilities of a board of directors [thanks to BoardSource] with specific suggestions from Guys For Life for Christian non-profits. This list should help anyone bridge the gap between them and a board of directors to join your vision of men's ministry:
Top Ten Responsibilities of a Non-Profit Board of Directors
1. Determine the organization's mission and purpose.
- Ultimately, that by adding a Men’s Ministry [if you are Christ centered] the Gospel of Jesus Christ will be advanced (often considered a “DUH”, spell it out for them).
- The Men’s Ministry enhances the mission and purpose and does not slow it down or distract from it.
- Will the addition of a Men’s Ministry actually cause the mission and vision statement to change? (I.E. “Women”) Could it even impact a name change?
- You won’t be selecting the chief executive, however, how will a men’s ministry impact the workload of the chief executive (positively/negatively)?
- How can a chief executive ‘parlay’ the men’s ministry with key donors and other community organizations for deeper levels of involvement? (Actually prepare this for them)
- How/where will the Men’s Ministry come under the leadership of the chief executive?
- A budget. Plain and simple. Start off small and build up. (Humble beginnings can be used by the Lord.
- A fundraising plan - plans that do not counter the overall ministry and strengthen it.
- Help with Partners (donors) to bring the lost ones back and forge new territory with prospective partners.
- An annual list of what you physically need in the form of supportive resources (well thought out and justified).
- Additionally a list of conferences and training you see lifting up the male mentors and leaders to execute the mission.
- People - Can the board be helpful to pointing you out to people groups they are associated with (CBMC, men’s groups, other organizations) that a volunteer presentation could be made?
- Assurance that men’s program will be compliant with current policies of organization (search it out, are you?).
- Men’s program is covered by center’s insurance (off-site, transport, etc.)
- Men’s program is providing a “look in” into what they are planning and doing - No surprises!
- Making sure Men’s plan is in the Strategic Plan seamlessly and not disruptively (Dove Tail).
- Any Men’s plans are well thought out from “Concept” to “Final Impact”.
- Back up Plans - Prepare “What If” scenarios.
- The Men’s Ministry will broaden the reach and impact of the overall ministry. As such the men’s program will be a great tool for reaching new board members.
- Testimonies - Gather victories in print and video (put ample resources in their hands to give out and use socially).
- Program Highlights - Gather victories in print and video (put ample resources in their hands to give out and use socially).
- Encouragement - Times will get tough and board members will struggle and wrestle. Make sure you have ample examples of how God is winning!
- Honest input - What’s working, what’s not working. Tell it like it is, let God be your defender.
- Challenging input - The stuff they might not want to hear, but need to hear - respectfully and God honoring.
- Suggested Changes - Don’t just bring them a problem, pack 1-3 solutions to each problem you can identify.
- Assurance that the Men’s Ministry are behind this person 100% and will give them their all (submit to Jesus).
- Proof that the men’s program is not “needy” but rather a blessing to the leader and propels them further in excellence in Christ Jesus.
Till next time,