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. 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 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.
RECRUITMENT IS ONE OF THE MOST IMPORTANT ACTIVITIES YOUR BOARD IS RESPONSIBLE FOR. A STRONG, ENGAGED BOARD IS CRITICAL TO SERVING YOUR MISSION AND INCREASING YOUR IMPACT. IT IS IMPORTANT TO HAVE A DEFINED BOARD RECRUITMENT AND TRANSITION STRATEGY IN PLACE.
Commerce Trust Company
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