When you’re starting a new nonprofit or developing a board for an existing philanthropy, it’s important to find the best board for your organization. Leading an organization and making major decisions that affect everyone involved is a huge responsibility. For nonprofits, it can be even more challenging to find great board members because they’re often volunteers who have other jobs and obligations and they’re unpaid for their time on the board. It can be tempting to accept anyone who offers to be on the board, but this step should be avoided because it opens up the possibility that people who are unqualified could be making important decisions for your philanthropy.
Look to current volunteers
A great place to find board members for your nonprofit is by tapping your current volunteer base. There are certainly going to be volunteers dedicated to your organization who’d like a chance to become more involved and have a greater hand in determining the route the organization takes. Identify some hardworking volunteers you believe have the experience and passion to serve on your board and see what their thoughts are about potentially becoming a board member.
Ask for recommendations
Talk to current board members and employees of the organization to see if they have recommendations on who would make a good addition to the board. Also talk to volunteers and other connections for recommendations. You might learn something useful from other people and find someone you would never have been able to find for the board otherwise.
Advertise the positions
Spread the word that you’re looking to fill board positions for your nonprofit. Post on your social media accounts and make it known you’re looking to fill board positions. You can advertise in other ways as well and make sure any eligible candidate knows the position is being offered.
Check for passionate people
There are lots of people out there who could do an adequate job on your board, but you want to find someone who’s passionate about the cause of your organization. Take time to think about your mission and what you’re trying to accomplish in the long run. Then, look for board members who can help achieve that goal.
Create a solid interview process
While you want to recruit as many people as possible and take recommendations from people, it’s also important you have a quality interview process that helps separate inexperienced people from those who would actually be a great fit as a board member. Carefully think about the type of person you’d like on the board. Consider the experience level you’re looking for, what kind of personality, and how well they’ll fit in with current board members. Creating a well-crafted interview process makes it more likely you’ll pick a great candidate and avoid more problems down the line.