Board Transitions INT1360 - Digital

BOARD TRANSITIONS

INSTITUTIONAL

Board Transitions

Recruiting qualified and enthusiastic people to serve on your board will contribute to the health and sustainability of your organization. Board recruitment can be challenging. Recruiting leaders who have the skill set and passion that align with your organization’s mission will have a lasting impact on your organization. It is also important to be intentional in having diversity among skill sets, expertise, community connections and perspectives on the board.

Commerce Trust Company

BOARD TRANSITIONS

INSTITUTIONAL

IDENTIFYING WHAT THE BOARD NEEDS The process of shaping your non-profit’s board into an effective force for good governance takes work and commitment. When identifying new board members, start by asking what your nonprofit needs to advance its mission: the skills, knowledge, perspectives, connections, etc. Things to remember when identifying candidates:   Annually review the organization’s mission and strategic direction in order to identify the needs of the board better.   Carefully consider the diversity of intellectual, social, financial, demographic, and reputational resources needed on the board.   Develop a profile of characteristics needed on the board and compare it with what is currently available among its members. This profile can often be completed by utilizing a board skills assessment survey, to identify gaps or needs.   Ensure diversity of backgrounds, knowledge, and other resources by looking for members who represent more

BOARD TRANSITIONS

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than one desired characteristic.

CULTIVATE POTENTIAL NEW MEMBERS Cultivate sources of potential board members. Ask current board members, senior staff, and others to suggest potential candidates. Once a candidate for your nonprofit board has been identified and the board has decided that they meet the criteria to join the board, you should begin cultivating the new board member. BoardSource, a nonprofit dedicated to building effective board service, offers a number of best practices when cultivating candidates:   Involve a wide range of people in the cultivation process, including board members, senior staff, major donors, and other constituents.   Cultivate relationships with individuals who seem promising.   Invite prospects to participate in some way in support of the organization, prior to board membership.

  Keep records of individuals who might be potential board

BOARD TRANSITIONS

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candidates in the future.

  Continually develop a pool of potential board members.

RECRUIT NEW MEMBERS Throughout the recruiting process, describe why prospective members are wanted and needed. Explain expectations and responsibilities of the board members, and don’t minimize requirements. It is a best practice to develop and utilize a Board Job Description to clearly outline the expectation for a board member. Invite questions, elicit prospects’ interest, and find out if they are prepared to serve. Frame the “ask” as an invitation to submit the candidate’s name or a formal application to join the board rather than a direct invitation to join. This appropriately puts the ultimate decision to accept the nomination in the hands of the full board.

BOARD TRANSITIONS

INSTITUTIONAL

ONBOARDING BEST PRACTICES Onboarding new board members both to the

organization and to the board begins by explaining the history, programs, issues, finances, facilities, bylaws and organizational chart. If you want to maximize your opportunity to onboard a new board member, here are five important steps to consider:   Give the new board member a one-on-one orientation. Ideally, this is done with the board chair or executive director. It includes a tour, meeting the staff and sitting down to review the board contract. It can also be helpful to include external providers, such as your investment manager, audit partner, external accountant or others who support the work of the organization for which the member will have interaction and oversight.   Match them with a seasoned board member. This will help your new board member get up to speed faster.

BOARD TRANSITIONS

INSTITUTIONAL

  Provide them with a board handbook. A comprehensive board handbook is a great tool to educate your members about the organization and empower them to serve.   Host a welcome reception. This is a great way to introduce them to the rest of the board, staff, donors, clients and community leaders.   Announce it publicly. Send a press release announcing your new board members to your local newspaper and business journal. This is a simple, free way to get publicity for your organization and your new board member.

For more information, please contact Commerce Trust Company. 1-800-892-7100 x22883 | commercetrustcompany.com Commerce Trust Company

NOT FDIC INSURED | MAY LOSE VALUE | NO BANK GUARANTEE

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