When I was an executive director, I spent a lot of time on my written board report for each meeting.
But once the board meeting ended, my report got archived with the minutes, to never again see the light of day.
It always seemed like such a waste of energy to prepare this report for just one use. Over the years, I’ve found ways to repurpose my board report so that I can increase the report’s overall impact.
So pull your last report out of the archive, remove any confidential information, and see if you can repurpose it in one of these 5 meaningful ways:
Listen to the Bonus Break Here!
#1 – Present the board report to your staff
When I was the interim executive director of a $5 million agency, I would often share a slightly revised version of my board report at staff meetings. Staff were thrilled to get the “high level” report that board members enjoy.
#2 – Convert the board report to blog posts or email newsletters
In a previous blog, I recommended that you include a mission moment and a description of your greatest success from the last meeting in your report. You can convert each of these to a blog post or mention them in your email newsletter.
#3 – Share it with trusted major donors and foundation leaders
The next time you’re having a coffee Zoom with a trusted major donor or foundation officer, share the board report with them. And then walk them through one or two items. They will be impressed at the transparency you have with them, as well as the high engagement of your board.
#4 – Draft social media posts
You don’t want to blast every sentence of your report out on Twitter. But it’s a good idea to pull some of the best news from the report and share it with your organization’s followers. Your 10,000 Facebook fans would love to read that “We served 22% more homeless clients than we did in the same period last year. We couldn’t have done this without our incredible donors and staff.”
#5 – Work parts of the report into your next donor thank you letter
You’ve shared data and told stories through your board report. You know what else does that? Yup, thank you letters to donors. With an extra hour of work, you can revise and repurpose your board report. And in the process, you’ll gain credibility with your constituents, strengthen relationships, and build a stronger organizational culture.
A few weeks ago, I published a blog post about how to write a great report. The post, which included templates in both PowerPoint and Word, can be found here. And repurposing isn’t just for board reports – here are some ideas for repurposing your annual report.
Why I am Writing About This
As part of my work, I serve as the executive coach for nonprofit chief executives. They often feel overwhelmed by the competing demands for their time and attention. When this is an issue, I help them find ways to work a bit more efficiently (example – reusing the content they’re already writing).
In addition to offering one-on-one coaching for first-time executive directors, I’m also launching a coaching group for executive directors in their first year, in which we’ll discuss even more about how to work with your board and foster these essential relationships.
Additionally, check out the following Successful Nonprofits® resources if this post was helpful:
Podcast: Trust Me: I’ve Worked with Hundreds of Nonprofit Finance Teams with Kelsey Vatsaas
Blog: Stop Feeling Overwhelmed by Your Email!