Whether you are thinking about getting involved in a non-profit organization’s board of directors or already are serving on a library board, church council or school board, there are many ways you can help guide that ship. Some ways work better than others.

Because effective boards are so critical to the health and well-being of organizations and communities, K-State Research and Extension will offer a Board Leadership Series of workshops in several Kansas communities. The evening sessions are planned for Feb. 23 and 25 and March 1 and 3.

Designed to provide basic training for members of community-based boards, the series will be hosted by Extension professionals at locations across the state. The local site will be the Ellis County Extension Office meeting room, 601 Main in Hays.

Pre-registration is required by Feb. 12. The cost is $40 a person for all four sessions, but each registration buys a seat that can be rotated by participants. Contact the Ellis County Extension Office, (785) 628-9430, for a group rate. Registration includes refreshments and a workbook. The program is limited to 25 participants — first-come, first-served.

“Informed and committed board members are the key to healthy, effective boards and committees in our Kansas communities. K-State Research and Extension’s Board Leadership Series provides an opportunity for board members to learn the basics of being a good board member,” said Trudy Rice, Extension community development specialist. “Whether you are a member of a church board, a township board, a United Way agency board or a rural water board, this training is appropriate for you.”

Dates and topics for the four evening sessions are:

• Feb. 23 — Conducting effective meetings: Board member roles and responsibilities, basic parliamentary procedure and making meetings productive.

• Feb. 25 — Understanding fellow board members and conflict management: How personalities and generational differences affect decision-making and managing conflict.

• March 1 — Fundraising, fund management, legalities and ethics: Options for raising and managing money, understanding articles of incorporation, bylaws and policies.

• March 3 — Strategic planning: Establishing a common mission and vision for the board, and how to plan priorities for the future.

All sessions are from 6 to 8 p.m. Workshop participants will meet at host sites to take part in statewide web-based instruction and locally facilitated discussion.

For more information, or to register, contact the Ellis County Extension Office, 601 Main, Ste. A, in Hays, or call (785) 628-9430. Registrations are due by Feb. 12.

Linda K. Beech is Ellis County Extension agent for family and consumer sciences.