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In the Spring of 2018, ArtsFund hosted a free three-part webinar series focused on building stronger boards with Rena Henderson Mason, founder of Bold Agenda, a national consulting firm for nonprofits. These webinars, part of ArtsFund’s convenings programming, were geared toward board and staff of cultural nonprofits and ran from April through June 2018. They provided attendees with tools for staff and boards to more effectively carry out their organizations’ missions.

You can find webinar descriptions and recordings below.

Please contact Andrew Golden at with any questions.

Rena Henderson Mason

Broken Engagement: Why Has Our Board Checked Out? How Do We Fix It?
Thursday, April 12 — 11:00 to 12:15 Pacific

Many organizations face the challenge of engaging their board members appropriately in critical areas—from core governance issues to fundraising. The symptoms may be poor attendance at meetings and events, missed fundraising goals and opportunities and/or micromanagement. Frequently, organizations try to address the symptoms without having a deep understanding of the problems and how they can be prevented.

In this webinar, we discuss how engagement starts before a board member commits and is a journey that continues even as they leave the board. We will help board and staff leaders assess and understand why board engagement falters at every stage of a board member’s tenure. Participants will be given tools to diagnose what may be affecting engagement for their board, whether it may be in recruiting, board structure, meetings, or the culture. Then we will explore the key elements of a highly engaged and effective board and how to maintain it through an organization’s lifecycle.

Key learning objectives from the webinar:
• Understanding what it takes to build a highly engaged board
• Assessing when and why your board disengages
• Identifying tools and tactics to engage your board throughout their board experience

Click here to view the slides from Broken Engagement

Click here to view BoldAgenda’s Checklist For Engaging Your Board

Optimizing the Board Chair/CEO Relationship
Monday, May 14 — 11:00 to 12:15 Pacific

The Board Chair/CEO relationship is among the most critical for an organization to be successful in fulfilling its mission. They touch every area of board performance and drive the organization’s outcomes. Many Board Chair and CEO relationships are good, but leaders know they could be so much better. With the challenges and changes organizations face, leaders should not settle for a good relationship when it could be great. With other priorities pulling at your time, you may not be sure where to start or how much more time you should invest in the Board Chair/CEO relationship.

In this webinar, we provide a framework for thinking about the behaviors, activities and work patterns between the Board Chair and CEO that generate the highest level of trust, communication and impact for an organization. Through case studies, we will provide examples of how the critical Board Chair/CEO relationship can be optimized over time and deliver the greatest impact. We will answer your questions about how to manage this relationship for your mission.



Key learning objectives from the webinar:
• Understanding why the Board Chair/CEO relationship has such a great impact
• Identifying why this relationship may have tension and how to address it
• Viewing the Board Chair/CEO relationship through a framework for building trust, communication, and the board as a high performing team

Click here to view the slides from Optimizing the Board Chair/CEO Relationship

Click here to view BoldAgenda’s discussion questions to help assess and strengthen the Board Chair/CEO relationship

Breaking Down Barriers: Achieving Real Board Diversity and Inclusion
Thursday, June 7 — 11:00 to 12:15 Pacific

What’s holding your board back from achieving real diversity and inclusion? You’ve made the business case for diversity and your board understands its value. Yet your board continues to struggle to achieve meaningful and lasting diversity and inclusion. Whether you face challenges with recruiting the right talent, heightening their engagement, and/or retaining and preparing diverse candidates for leadership roles, you know that you need to do something different to reach your diversity goals.

In this webinar, we will discuss some of the structural, cultural and emotional barriers that exist on non-profit boards when it comes to building greater diversity among members. We will walk through the steps to breakthrough these barriers along three dimensions for sustainable board diversity and inclusion. Through the highlighted case studies, we will explore how to apply barrier breaking techniques to your board.


Key learning objectives for this session include: 
• Understanding the barriers to greater diversity and inclusion that may exist on your board
• Identifying how to breakthrough these barriers and who should lead the process
• Exploring an approach to action planning for real board diversity and inclusion

Click here to view the slides from Breaking Down Barriers: Achieving Real Board Diversity and Inclusion

Click here to view BoldAgenda’s discussion questions to help with diversity and inclusion action planning

All webinars will be recorded and made available to view afterward for those interested but unable to attend.

ArtsFund’s convenings series is sponsored by The Boeing Company.