Kansas Extension shows ropes of serving on civic boards

Kansas Extension shows ropes of serving on civic boards

Lots of people who care about bettering their communities join organizations or find other avenues to make a difference. If they spend enough time doing so, they eventually tend to find themselves being nominated to — or even creating — an advisory group, commission, committee or council.

The ins and outs of serving on a board, however, often aren’t as simple as they may seem. Among many issues, civic groups may have to deal with disagreeing members, struggle to manage finances or run into legal or ethical issues. Simpler matters such as how to prepare a meeting agenda or make a motion to approve an item can also be confusing to new board members.

To help make these groups more effective — and increase their impact on their communities —Extension personnel at Kansas State University came up with the Welcome A-Board! Board Leadership Basics program. This is a 14-part lesson series offering training on leadership, citizen engagement, managing conflicts, parliamentary procedure, developing agendas, setting goals for groups, legal issues and ethics, information on grant funding and more.

Participants reported entering the program with minimal understanding of these topics. After completing the lessons, nearly all said they felt much more knowledgeable. For example, only about 5% of participants started off with a strong understanding of strategic planning processes. After completing Welcome A-Board, more than 70% said they felt well versed in this area.

Link to full statement on website: http://landgrantimpacts.tamu.edu/impacts/show/5647