Finding the right board members for your nonprofit organization plays a crucial role in the overall success of your mission. A board that is strong, active, and well-connected can do wonders for your fundraising campaign, in addition to propelling you to new heights.
A lackluster board can be the exact opposite – resulting in diminishing financial and community support.
That’s why it’s important to find the RIGHT board members, rather than just bodies to fill vacant seats.
Tips for Recruiting the Right Board Members
The following tips will help you find and recruit board members that will positively contribute to your organization and mission:
Evaluate the Current Board for Strengths and Weaknesses
Your board of directors should be well-rounded, with each person bringing a set of skills to strengthen the overall group. If you’re missing a particular skill, like leadership experience, interpersonal skills, strategy and problem solving skills, industry-specific knowledge, etc., then it’s a good idea to recruit someone with those specific qualities.
Evaluating the board’s current state will help you find who you need – in addition to showing you what you need for future growth.
Fit with Organization Culture
Not only should board members have the needed skills, they should also fit in with your nonprofit’s culture. This increases their ability to succeed on the board, positively affecting the team and fundraising campaign.
Keep these questions in mind when checking for culture fit:
- Do their values align with your organization?
- Do they have the same hobbies as other members?
- Are they passionate about the overall mission or goal of your organization?
- Will they thrive in your organization’s work environment?
Keep a Running List of Qualified Candidates
Finding qualified board member candidates can be difficult. So when you finally find people that have the desired skill set and fit into your culture, it’s important to write them down! Create a running list of all your potential matches – updating it with notes as you need.
You may not need someone for the Finance Committee right now, but when you do you can refer to your running list to see if there are any already qualified candidates who might be interested. This can save you a lot of valuable time later, especially if you actively recruit throughout the year.
Use LinkedIn to Your Advantage
LinkedIn is a valuable resource, especially when it comes to recruiting nonprofit board members. Using your desired qualifications, you can search the LinkedIn database to find candidates. When you find a match you can message them, or ask to be introduced if you have a mutual connection.
Tip: If you’re connected with potential candidates on LinkedIn, you’ll be able to keep up with their community involvement and professional development – helping you approach them when the time is right.