Where do we find board members?

Finding the right candidates for your board is not an easy task. Ideally, you’ll recruit individuals with a range of complementary skills who are as passionate about your mission as you are. So, where do you start?

First, think about the skills that will benefit your organization. There are often three key areas represented on the board:

  • One-third would be individuals who have access to financial resources or soliciting donations.
  • One-third would be individuals with management expertise in areas of financial, marketing, legal and the like.
  • One-third would be individuals connected at the community level, with expertise in your service field.

Then, think about other characteristics such as age, gender, diversity, geographic representation and familiarity with your cause.

Consider current volunteers and significant donors as candidates. Ask for board and staff suggestions, and look at business leaders and high net-worth individuals in the community.

Sites like boardnetUSA (www.boardnetusa.org), VolunteerMatch (www.volunteermatch.org) and BoardSource (www.boardsource.org) also help nonprofit boards and new leaders find each other. The latter also offers “Recruiting a Stronger Board: A BoardSource Toolkit,” which, among other tools, provides a sample board matrix to help you outline the desired expertise, sectors and demographics that comprise your board.

You might consider designating a board nominations committee to identify potential candidates. Ask the board to seek out candidates who can contribute in a unique way. And be sure to review each candidate in light of your mission and goals.

Boards & Governance FAQ

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