They’re Waiting to be Asked

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Published May 26, 2017

They’re Waiting to be Asked

Have you ever wondered what to do about really outstanding men and women you want to have and keep more closely identified with your organization? I’m thinking of those who are not interested or willing to serve on your Board.

They don’t want the nitty-gritty of being a Director, the regular and frequent meetings, and the responsibility. Actually, some of these folks might not even make good Board members.

But they care for the institution and would be willing to accept some relationship. Something more than just being a friend or a supporter. Something that ties them even closer.

I’m not talking about an Honorary Board Member or a Life Member. Those designations have their place. I’m thinking about something that brings them even closer. Something deeper.

Dr. William Crouch, Jr., has solved the issue. He was the genius who headed Georgetown College (Kentucky). Bill was one of the most innovative presidents I know.

He recruited a group of men and women he called Trustee Fellows. I very much like the name. (I give you license to use the name without asking permission from Bill!)

They meet once a year at a session before the Board meeting, and they attend the Board meeting. They are encouraged to vote. They are also allowed to attend any Board meetings they wish. Most do not.

Bill has been able to recruit an extraordinary group. Take Paul Volcker, for instance. He does come once a year. He has had no earlier relationship with the College until he was recruited.

The day before, he lectures to a sell-out crowd of students and community leaders. Bankers from all over the state come to hear him and sit at his feet.

Whatever you decide to call a group like this, it’s an excellent idea. You are able to get folks in your hug who did not want to carry the burden of a full Board membership. But they are willing to be identified with the institution.