Recruiting the right board
Gayle L. Gifford, ACFRE, M.S.
About Gayle L. Gifford, ACFRE, MS
• Co-President, Cause & Effect Inc.
• Co-researcher Voices of Board Chairs
• Board chair Blackstone Academy Charter School
• The Butterfly Effect
• Twitter @gaylegifford
• LinkedIn gaylegifford
Available through Amazon
• This is a taste, not the
• You get what you give.
• What matters is what
happens when you
• There are no wrong
• Cell phones silent
Case: Urban Debate League
• Afterschool high school debate teams &
tournaments in 10 Title I schools in four cities.
• Evidence-Based Argumentation (EBA):
Innovative teacher development program
transfers debate skills into the classroom.
Documented learning gains.
• 10 year Executive Director resigned.
• Program director promoted to Executive
• Teacher coaches paid by their schools.
• $150,000 budget (with EBA); 50% grants;
• Difficulty renewing EBA contract with school
• Chronic cash flow shortages, tenuous funding
• 12 board members: seven active
• One recent resignation (a former educational
• Two chronically absent rotating off.
• Three year terms
Questions for Today
Who do you need on this board?
Where can you find them?
How do you cultivate, vet and onboard?
How will you keep them?
Capital is any
capable of producing
• Economics: Principles and Practices;
G.E. Clayton, 2008
• Beyond the Balance Sheet, Elizabeth
• Governance as Leadership, Taylor,
Idea generation and innovationEnvisioning
• Foster frame-breaking thinking
• Networking, Intelligence gathering
• Task oriented, get things done
• Humor, caring, conflict mediation
• Contributed knowledge
• Leveraged relationships
• Applied cultural fluency
• From outside, the synthesis
of the above
Where to look
• Donors, volunteers
• Traditional & social
• Ask for them
• Corporate community
• External nominating
• Keep a perpetual
This Photo by Unknown Author is licensed under CC BY-SA
How will you cultivate, vet and
Create a rigorous
• Courting and cutting
• Site visits
• Informal interview
• Formal interview
• Reference checks
• Clear expectations
A board where folks
want to serve
• Work that matters
• Meetings that matter
• Opportunities to learn
• High expectations
• Interesting, collegial