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Like all non-profits, community radio stations must foster good collaboration between boards and staff.

A holiday conflict at radio station WDBX has underscored the differences that can arise between boards and staff. The issue gets all the more complicated when one considers staff, which do the day to day work, are still subordinate to the board, which is regarded by the FCC as the responsible party and licensee of the station.

In addition to this crucial role, a board of directors serves a variety of purposes for community radio. Board members can be an important liaison with the audience. Board members can raise money for the station. When boards don’t operate well, they can be a headache.

Classy offers many insights on getting a good board. Overall, community radio stations must look carefully when seeking board members, and recruit people (regardless of how they’re chosen) with an eye to deficiencies in the existing board.

It is important to note that an ineffective board does not take place in a vacuum. Some stations may not understand their staff and internal cultures may not be attracting the people they feel they need, or that they bear responsibility for relationships. Effective boards and attracting the right people is a shared obligations.

Strategic planning and team building also get the board working together, communicating more and operating in a unified way. It takes work to make a board work well, but many solid community radio stations demonstrate such directors can be important agents for the organization.

NFCB member stations have a variety of governance resources available in our Solution Center. Stations can join NFCB today, if they are not affiliated with NFCB.

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