How To Find Board Members| On-boarding
Those that can add an important diversity component to your organization are prime candidates for hire. Individuals that bring a wide range of perspectives and thoughts that will help in achieving the mission of your organization are vital. It’s not all about filling in the gap, it’s about finding leaders that will put the vision of the organization into action. All organization’s should actively search for prospective board members, even if there are no current vacancies. Boards tend to always have turnover, having potential individuals in place will take the pressure off immensely. Prospective board members should demonstrate a deep understanding and commitment to the mission of the organization before coming on board.
Where to start:
- Go beyond selecting friends and/or colleagues – Hiring friends could potentially be harmful, they at times believe they deserve special treatment over regular employees. You also have to be prepared if they make a crucial mistake, you are the one that will have to throw them out in the street. There is a saying “You can acquire strong friendships through work, but you rarely acquire good workers through friends.” If you do hire a friend/colleague you would need to occupy distinct roles and leverage your strengths in the organization. As long as you can operate as a “team” with a common goal it will run smoothly.
- Start with dedicated volunteers – Volunteers are dedicated to your cause already, they already have given their time for FREE. Early involvement benefits the organization and the volunteer. Being a volunteer allows you to get involved with the organization to see if you are a good fit, and that you share a passion for their mission.
- Scroll through the donor base – Consider your top donors for hire, they already have invested substantially in your organizations cause.
- Promote from within your organization – Internal Candidates can greatly ease the task of finding someone who fits the organization’s culture and getting them up to par. If the internal candidate is already successful in your organization’s environment and meets the job specifications in the job description he/she is perfect for promoting within. If that person only meets a percentage of the specifications, you can easily mold them to meet the job description. Hiring from within an organization should be an important goal for any nonprofit organization.
- Ask your current board and staff for suggestions – It is important to ask for your board/staff’s opinions and suggestions on important matters. Making them feel involved in your organization’s decisions is vital. Sometimes listening to someone else’s opinion and suggestion will help by bringing a different approach or thought to the hiring process.
- Reach out to your local community for any business leaders that demonstrate an interest in representing your board –Business leaders are already successful in the business community, finding those that want to make a difference and share their insights with the organization are key.
- Contact local organizations –Sometimes local organization’s know/can recommend people for your organization. Asking for help from other organization’s will only strengthen your business relationship.
Important questions to ask ideal candidates:
- What is your passion? Your dreams? Where do you see yourself in 10 years?
- Will you fulfill the responsibilities & duties that are hereby brought forth?
- Will you meet all fundraising requirements?
- Have you demonstrated a passion for this current organization or one like it?
- Time commitment is substantial, can you commit your time to this organization?
- Will you be active with this organization and attend all meetings, make calls, and come to events?
- Do you have well-connected networks? Are you willing to reach into those networks on this organization’s behalf?
- Are you a leader or a follower?
- What are your expectations from our board?
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