Session 1: Life Cycle of a Board Member: How to Build a Powerhouse Board

Tuesday, August 17, 2021, 11:00 am Eastern

An effective board is at the heart of every successful organization. Library Foundation, Friends, and Trustees play a crucial role for your organization, and these relationships need to be nurtured. This session will cover an approach to board building based on a lifecycle concept. From recruitment to board member "terming out," come learn how to build a board that will support your work and helps you achieve the goals you have for your library or supporting organization. This session will cover prospecting and recruiting with a focus on diversity, on-boarding new members via a cohort approach, identifying leaders quickly, and growing your stakeholders and ambassadors through term limits. You will leave this session with information, including sample tools you can use right away to improve your board recruiting and stewardship processes.

Learning Outcomes

Attendees will:

  • Understand a wholistic way to view board building.
  • Have new tools to help implement this approach to board building.
  • Feel confident in knowing how to start recruiting for their board.


Jonna Ward
CEO, Seattle Public Library Foundation

Jonna Ward joined the Seattle Public Library Foundation in 2001 to run the community phase of the $83 million capital campaign. She served as deputy director in 2004, Executive Director in 2008, and CEO since 2016. During her leadership, the Foundation has grown to be the largest library foundation in the country based on assets under management and has steadily increased its support to the Library, ensuring its long-term vitality. She is co-founder of the International Public Library Fundraising Conference and creator of #LibraryGivingDay.

Charity Tyler
Executive Director, Cedar Rapids Public Library Foundation

Charity Tyler is the 2021-2022 president of United for Libraries. She has been executive director of the Cedar Rapids Public Library Foundation since 2015. For the foundation, she has created policies and improved governance structures to support fundraising on behalf of the Cedar Rapids Public Library, and to support Foundation-funded programs including Dolly Parton’s Imagination Library. For United for Libraries, she has led the Programming Committee and Governance Task Force.

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