Board Governance: How do we recruit new board members?

NPO Board of Directors Recruiting CPA

Recruiting new board members is critical to an organization’s success, but many struggle to find the right people with the right skills. New members bring new ideas and a fresh perspective which can also re-engage existing members. A full slate of board members ensures the work load is reasonably allocated and reduces the risk of burn out.

Some of the obstacles to finding new board members include lack of awareness of your organization, what you do or that you are looking for new members. Individuals with a passion for your goals often think they don’t have the experience or knowledge to serve as a board member, or that the time commitment will be onerous.

With these obstacles in mind, here are a few strategies to kick start your recruiting activities:

  • Increase the visibility of the organization and advertise your recruitment needs.
  • Be in recruitment mode all year long, not just around the annual meeting. Maintain a list of people who are interested but can’t join this year – this helps with future recruiting.
  • Identify what skills or experience you are looking for and target people with those qualities.
  • Brain storm a list of potential candidates and proactively approach them.
  • Leverage your personal and organizational networks to identify candidates, or to spread the word that you are recruiting.
  • Develop a recruitment package, with information about the organization, the board, what is involved and the time commitment that individuals can take home to review.
  • Consider an information night for prospective board members.
  • Create an orientation or mentoring process to help new board members to get up to speed.

Finally, if this is a critical success factor for your organization, consider adding “board recruitment” as a standing agenda item for board meetings – what gets measured, gets done!

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