Most of the issues faced by board members are a direct result of the lack of strategy in the selection and development of new board members, as these processes are often overlooked. Nonprofit organizations are generally dependant on external sources for financial support.
The unreliability of these resources gives the recruitment, orientation and development processes paramount importance, considering that the pertinence of its work is defined by its effectiveness at setting and accomplishing mission goals.
The process of creating a network of referrals must be constantly nurtured to facilitate a large pool of candidates. This can be accomplished by establishing good relationships with other entities, or through new members and the organizations they belong to.
Diversity is a factor to highly consider in a nonprofit organization , input from individuals with diverse backgrounds and experiences should generate many different ideas.
Board members of nonprofit organizations must foster and remain open not only to different ethnic groups or gender, but most importantly, to different values and perspectives. Avoid and beware of tokenism.
Make potential new board members aware of the parameters of a position when you contact them. Meet with this person and conduct an interview based on the profile of this position and other qualities expected.
Knowing how to interview is essential, get the most experienced individual to conduct the interview. When possible, and if no one is available, hire a professional to do this job.
Having a board development team to focus on looking for prospects, gathering information, interviewing, etc., allows the rest of the board members to focus on other areas of governance while still staying abreast of this meaningful process.
Being part of a nonprofit organization is hard and noble work, and is more than just good intentions. It may be difficult to recruit people considering the nature of the work and what is required from board members. It is therefore, a process that should always be cultivated through the building of effective networks of friends and referrals from the community and other entities.
Finding and recruiting the right candidate is not a matter of luck but organizational achievement that would enhance the chances to effective governance, innovation and team work.
Create the Future. Developing a Board Recruitment Plan . Retrieve on June 29, 2010 from: http://www.createthefuture.com/developing.htm
Fritz, J. About.com Nonprofit Charitable Orgs. Where Do I Find Board Members? Retrieve on May 29, 2010 from: http://nonprofitbasics/f/findboardmember.htm?p=1
Gottlieb, H. Community Driven Institute. Searching for a Key Employee: The 7 No-No’s of Hiring. Retrieve on June 24, 2010 from: http: www.help4nonprofits.com/NP_PRSN:_SearchKeyEmp_Article.htm
Larson, S. Unique Nature and Struggles of Traditional Small Nonprofits. Retrieve on June 16, 2010 from http://managementhelp.org/org_thry/np_thry/np_intro.htm
LASTBoardSource. (2007). The Nonprofit Board Answer Book: A Practical Guide for Board Members and Chief Executives, Selection and Development of Board Members (pp. 89-138). 2nd ed. San Francisco, CA: Jossey-Bass
Loscavio, M. & Kile, R. (1996). Strategic Board Recruitment: The Not-for-Profit Model. Gaithersburg, MD: Aspen Publishers, INC.