"A perpetual question! ... but I always wonder, what does "engaged" mean for a board?"Unfortunately, my answer takes a little more than 140 characters, so it will have to be a blog post.
My first thought on "engagement" is that it is demonstrated by involvement beyond speaking up at board meetings: committee work, volunteering for tedious tasks (envelope stuffing anybody?), sending out minutes on time...
But that's simply activity. To some extent, it's busy work. Engagement goes beyond that, to less tangible, but far more critical, elements.
For board members to be fully engaged, they should not just care about the organization, but about the cause. The nonprofit's mission must be something that touches them. Even if they weren't on your board, they would still be reading articles about the issues you work on, and discussing them with their friends, and doing so in a way that demonstrates both knowledge and understanding.
An engaged board member doesn't need to be asked twice to solicit their friends for a donation, and doesn't shrink and hide when asked to speak to the press or elected officials on behalf of your cause.
The engaged board member is an activist, an advocate, and a leader, as well as a hard worker who shows up on time having read the board packet before the meeting.
What does "engaged board member" mean to you? Post a comment here, or join in the conversation at twitter: I'm there as "NonprofitKenG."