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The best gifts for outgoing board members

Updated April 17, 2017

Your board members have likely put in long hours to help make your organisation or business a success, and many of them you probably now consider close friends and business confidants. Especially if the members of your board are volunteers, you want to communicate how much you value their contributions. Show your appreciation for board members who have reached the end of their tenure with a thoughtful and personalised gift.

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Certificate of Achievement

Draft a certificate that identifies the departing board member and itemises his specific contributions and achievements with your organisation over the years. The certificate need not be longer than one page, and you can then print it on certificate paper -- available at office supply stores -- or send it to a printer for a more professional-looking result. Have a senior member of management sign the certificate. Mat and frame the certificate to present to the departing board member, who will treasure it for years to come.

Photo Collage

If you have an extensive collection of photographs from your organisation's events and meetings involving the board, hire a graphic designer or intern to create a photo collage that features the departing board member. Include text at the bottom of the collage that identifies her by name, lists the years of her tenure on the board and congratulates her on her fine work. Print the collage on photo-quality paper, then mat and frame it to give to the board member.

Engraved Pen

A classy and moderately more expensive gift, a fine, refillable ballpoint pen engraved with the board member's name or initials will be used and appreciated for years to come. Include your company's logo in the engraving if possible, and opt for a pen model that comes in a keepsake box.

Long-Term Tribute to Service

Consider creating a space in your office or headquarters where you can honour departing board members, such as a wall where you hang pictures and plaques with identifying information. Hold an induction ceremony each time a board member or group of members departs, during which you can make a toast to each person's service and contributions and honour them all by adding their photograph to the permanent wall.

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About the Author

Goody Clairenstein has been a writer since 2004. She has sat on the editorial board of several non-academic journals and writes about creative writing, editing and languages. She has worked in professional publishing and news reporting in print and broadcast journalism. Her poems have appeared in "Small Craft Warnings." Clairenstein earned her Bachelor of Arts in European languages from Skidmore College.

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