Originally posted on Network for Good by Linda Lombardi.
You know what you want your board members to do, but do you know how to put together the right team? When you visualize your organization’s ideal board, does your current board align with that vision?
Need more clarity? Ask yourself these questions:
- How does your board currently perform with fundraising?
- Do your board members make philanthropy a priority?
- Do term limits help or hinder the productivity of the current board?
- What kind of board member offers better access to potential major individual and institutional donors?
- What skills and expertise do your board members need to guide your organization over the next few years?
Once you have those answers in mind, the next step is finding your ideal board members. Use these three steps to create your ideal board.
- Start with your current board members and their networks.
- Next, look at your donor base and identify a few major donors or prospects who could be good candidates or can introduce you to one.
- Finally, you may want to post a call for board members on LinkedIn to reach outside your traditional connections.
Bring Them Together
Think of board recruitment as a hiring process. Being on your board is a job that people want and will be committed to taking on with passion and enthusiasm.
Ask your governance committee to draft a list of prospective new board members and share it with the rest of the board for review. Recruit multiple candidates for each opening. Pick and choose the best people for the job.
Ask candidates to complete an application for board membership. Set a firm deadline for receiving the application. This is an easy way to see if they can meet deadlines. Assess their volunteer leadership experience and the unique role they can play in meeting your organization’s needs.
Interview prospective members to learn more about them, answer their questions, and get a glimpse into what working with this person will be like.
- Are they a team player?
- Will their personality complement your current board members?
- Will you enjoy working with them?
- What are the strengths (diversity, network, status, ideas) that they will bring to your board?