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Do you want your non-profit organization to achieve great success? Build a board of directors who are long-term visionaries. Having goal setters and high-level thinkers can help guide the day-to-day operations. Inside this playbook, we will discuss how to ensure that your team finishes on top.

If you are currently working with a nonprofit organization, you are aware of the challenges that the organization faces in establishing and successfully operating its board of directors. Below is a guide to help any team manager scout players and set an outstanding all-star line-up to take on any of the organization’s goals:

  • Cover the field with a spread offense. Identify any gaps in skills, experience, expertise, perspective, community connections or spheres of influence – what do you need your board to be able to accomplish that a new board member could assist with?  It is important to consider both present and future goals of the organization in order to identify potential board members who will add value both now and in the long term.
  • Add new plays to the playbook.  Most nonprofits just “ask around” or utilize personal or professional circles to put feelers out when looking for new teammates.  This should be viewed like hiring for a paid position.  When you think about it like that, your perspective changes. Make it known publicly that your organization is searching by announcing it on your newsletter or website.  There are also several websites that match people seeking boards to join with nonprofits.
  • Hold a formal tryout.  When asking someone if they are interested, ask them if they would consider putting in an application and interviewing, not just if they would consider being on the board.  This avoids the notion that you are just looking for a warm body to cheer on the sidelines.  Again, this supports the idea of approaching this like hiring for a paid position.
  • Move towards values-based recruitment. Add directors who can come to conclusions as a unit, but act as resources as individuals to the rest of the board, committees, and officers of the organization. By acquiring directors with diverse personal and professional perspectives, the board as a whole can make more informed decisions. During the interview process, find out what attributes the candidate can bring to the field and look at their past game-time stats.
  • Scrimmage time! Test run candidates by having them first serve on a committee or task force, or volunteer in another way, to see if they would be a good fit.  Consider individuals already serving in these capacities and encourage them to apply to sit on the board. A pre-existing passion for the cause and eagerness to participate could help your organization gain some yardage.

A well-rounded, effective board is essential to the ability of a nonprofit organization to continue its operations, and successful recruitment is the first step towards getting the touchdown! Once your line-up is set, the next step is board development. For further information on board recruitment or assistance with your organization’s board, please feel free to contact your L&B professional at 858-558-9200.

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