The nominating committee of any organization has the job of reeling in new board members. One of the questions that I suggest a board member ask is how many hours a week/month/year is this board commitment going to take? Most people will make a casual comment that it does not take long, or not very much, but it would be great if people actually knew how long the board commitment takes.
We could gather this data by asking our board members to track their time or fill in a survey. This could give us the information we need for a couple of reasons. Do your funders ever ask about volunteer hours? If so, the board should be included in the calculation of volunteer hours. We might also do some analysis around the size of the board. Would having a couple more board members reduce the time commitment from the existing board? This may not always be the case, it could just mean longer meetings if more people are talking. Board fatigue is a real concern and we know that in order to change something we have to measure it, so let’s measure our board members hours and see if any changes are needed.