Is your main goal to make all your board members happy? Or to make your organization successful?

Updated: Apr. 16, 2018  

Are these goals compatible?

Here at StarChapter we are in the unique position to observe the decision making process for many different organizations across many industries.  Making the decision to change how things are done, and moving to a new technology, is not trivial and should be considered carefully. Often, a board will make a decision that may not be the best choice. 

It would be easy to say that we know what has worked best for certain organizations based on the years we have witnessed the outcomes of what successful groups do, but that would seem self-serving.  We could, instead, let things unfold, have an organization move in the wrong direction and wait until months later when they conclude, on their own, that the alternative is a more productive decision. We, however, find this frustrating, as we don't like to see volunteers working harder than they have to, with the wrong technology, getting substandard results.

On occasion, we will meet with a president, or the leadership of an organization, and offer them a demo of StarChapter technology.  The benefits of the software are self-evident and the “oooh’s” and “ahhh’s” emitted are often proof that the intuitive nature of the software, it’s ease of use and turnkey components are the promise of a better more productive future. But later, we'll receive a call that they have decided to have a board members build the website, or have their son, daughter, nephew, create the site. So, what are we to say?

Maybe this person who has agreed to do the website is a real whiz.  Maybe they can build a great looking website.  And, possibly, this person can even build the website in a few months.  But will they have the ability to replicate anywhere close to the amount of features and functionality that StarChapter offers?  No. But, then, evidently, that isn’t the real issue.

StarChapter would have the site up in 3-5 weeks with a professional design.  All the member and prospect data would be imported and the website content would be migrated.  The board would have one system for email communication, meeting registration, membership and prospect management and, yes, website content management.  The new site would cost a fraction of what a custom site would cost and would do exponentially more.

So why go with the 'nephew'?  Maybe it's as simple as thinking it is what makes the board ‘happy’.  Maybe the nephew needs some experience and that board member uncle wants to help out.  Maybe since it is 'free' -- that makes the decision easier so the board doesn't have to go out on a limb to spend money.

This is where arriving at a decision to please, or appease, the board comes before what is best for the organization or association – and that is a mistake -- one that will likely cost the group money, energy, and time. 

The problem with choosing a substandard solution like this is that volunteer board members will have to work harder to keep information on the site in sync and the data organized.  The board will depend on one person to update the site, which is a risk.  How available is this person to make on-going changes and amendments to the site? Data and site information will also be at risk if proper steps are not taken to secure and back them up.

When looking at the two goals of making the board happy and what is best for the organization as a whole, the two should be aligned.  A happy board is a board that knows it is helping the organization grow and they can do that by spending their time wisely and more productively.  StarChapter helps boards do just that while putting in place the necessary structure and support to promote growth in membership and revenue.

We truly wish every member-based organization successful growth along with 'happy' volunteer board members.  We hope they make informed decisions and arrive at the most productive conclusion for their technology solutions.  StarChapter representatives are available for live demonstrations and to answer any questions that may arise when making this evaluation.  


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