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Recruiting your best board of directors

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Learn a new strategy for designing your nonprofit board. Find helpful tips on where to look for new board members. Find ideas for what it will take to keep the good candidates you've recruited.

Published in: Government & Nonprofit
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Recruiting your best board of directors

  1. 1. Recruiting the right board of directors Gayle L. Gifford, ACFRE, M.S.
  2. 2. About Gayle L. Gifford, ACFRE, MS • Co-President, Cause & Effect Inc. www.ceffect.com • Co-researcher Voices of Board Chairs • Board chair Blackstone Academy Charter School Find me • gayle@ceffect.com • The Butterfly Effect www.ceffect.com/blog • Twitter @gaylegifford • LinkedIn gaylegifford Available through Amazon
  3. 3. Workshop protocols • This is a taste, not the whole meal. • You get what you give. • What matters is what happens when you leave. • There are no wrong questions. • Cell phones silent
  4. 4. Case: Urban Debate League Program: • 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. Staff • 10 year Executive Director resigned. • Program director promoted to Executive Director. • Vista • Teacher coaches paid by their schools. Funding • $150,000 budget (with EBA); 50% grants; 50% contributions • Difficulty renewing EBA contract with school department. • Chronic cash flow shortages, tenuous funding Board • 12 board members: seven active • One recent resignation (a former educational leader) • Two chronically absent rotating off. • Three year terms
  5. 5. 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?
  6. 6. Board Member Hats • Whole = Governance • Individual = Volunteer
  7. 7. Question 1 Who do you need on this board?
  8. 8. Board Composition Board members as capital investments Capital is any enduring asset capable of producing additional assets From: • Economics: Principles and Practices; G.E. Clayton, 2008 • Beyond the Balance Sheet, Elizabeth Castillo • Governance as Leadership, Taylor, Ryan, Chait Human capital • Intellectual • Moral • Creative • Psychological Relational capital • Social • Political • Spiritual Symbolic capital • Reputational • Cultural • Geographic Financial capital • Giving
  9. 9. A board of leaders Idea generation and innovationEnvisioning • Foster frame-breaking thinking Resource connectingSpanning • Networking, Intelligence gathering Details, structureOrganizing • Task oriented, get things done Team developerSocial • Humor, caring, conflict mediation
  10. 10. The new board matrix Parts • Contributed knowledge • Leveraged relationships • Applied cultural fluency • Self-management Whole • From outside, the synthesis of the above
  11. 11. Matrix Tool
  12. 12. Question 2 Where can you find them?
  13. 13. Where to look • Donors, volunteers • Traditional & social media • Ask for them • Corporate community relations • External nominating committee • Keep a perpetual running list This Photo by Unknown Author is licensed under CC BY-SA
  14. 14. Question 3 How will you cultivate, vet and onboard them?
  15. 15. Create a rigorous recruiting process. • Courting and cutting • Resumes • Site visits • Informal interview • Formal interview • Reference checks • Clear expectations
  16. 16. Question 4 How will you keep them?
  17. 17. A board where folks want to serve • Work that matters • Meetings that matter • Transforming experiences • Opportunities to learn • High expectations • Interesting, collegial peers • Fun • Rewarding

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