No Board Games Here!

A strong Board can take an organisation from strength to strength, while a Board divided can be a millstone around your neck. Board management might not seem like a priority area for NGOs, but if managed well, can ensure that your organisation benefits from the experience and insights of your Board members. This piece, sourced from Sanjay Patra’s* series on ‘Tools for Identifying, recruiting and developing a Board’ will give you an idea of the value of Board orientation, and the impact it can have for your organisation.

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Board orientation is a process to thoughtfully provide new Board members with the precise information they need on their role in the organization. It also serves to build a working relationship among Board members and helps to recognize the various skills available within the Board.

New Board members need to feel like they are an integral part of the Board as soon as possible. Providing information about the organization and roles/responsibilities will help them to feel at ease.


There are steps you can take to move this process along. Conducting an orientation session of the entire Board shortly after the election is essential. It should occur well before the first Board meeting and can be as short as 2 to 4 hours or as long as a two-day special retreat which could be linked with a planning session.

To know all the steps you need for a successful Board orientation, log on to

Coming Soon:

The next part of our article will give you data on how Indian NGOs engage with their Boards. This data is taken from NGOs own reportage in their Annual Reports, and will give you a good idea of how organisations engage with their Boards in practice.

*Sanjay Patra is Executive Director of the Financial Management Service Foundation (FMSF). Other publications from FMSF include:

Finance & Legal Handbook for NPOs 4th Edition

About the Book:

A comprehensive handbook that gives a detailed overview on various Finance, Legal, and Governance aspect of NPOs. This is a well-researched book of more than 600 pages and written in a layman’s language. This 4th edition provides insights into many new areas that require more attention in the fast changing scenario for voluntary organizations.

To order the above book mail to or log on to

To read more books by Sanjay Patra email


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