THE BOARD IS AN INTEGRAL PART OF A NON-PROFIT ORGANIZATION
Recruiting new board members is an especially important process within a growing nonprofit. How do you expand your board while ensuring that your organization’s mission, vision and long-term goals stay at the core of every decision? A strong board is a board that pulls from a variety of backgrounds. Striving for ethnic, gender, geographic and skill diversity is important, but it is also imperative to seek members that align with your organization's specific goals and long-term strategy. Here are three things to consider as you scale your board:
ANALYZE CURRENT BOARD MEMBERS
Decide what your goals are for board growth. Question your current board’s strengths and weaknesses and what you're seeking to gain from additional members. Most importantly, question how an additional member will help you reach your current goals. You might be thinking about who you’re trying to gain funding from and how you might need someone who opens doors in a specific area with connections to industry or community leaders. For example, if your organization's goal is to expand college preparedness programming for an underserved student population, you might consider bringing on a member who is well-connected with school district leaders in the area.
RECRUIT TO FILL THE GAPS IN YOUR ORGANIZATION
After analyzing the current board make-up, you might realize that you need to recruit for specific skills, expertise, or connections. Creating a set of guidelines to refer to as you begin searching and recruiting to fill specific holes can help guide the process. Once you onboard new members, you want to make sure that each one has a specific role and purpose, and everyone understands who is responsible for what. Considering such factors will keep your board productive, challenged and on task as you continue to scale.
CHOOSE MEMBERS WHO ARE WELL ALIGNED WITH YOUR MISSION AND VISION
Two primary responsibilities of a board member are to raise awareness and funds for your organization. With that in mind, make sure you are recruiting board members who believes in what you’re doing wholeheartedly. If this isn't prioritized, your long-term goals could become more difficult to reach. Bringing on members who are truly invested in the organization will create an environment for robust, solution-driven discussions. Ideally, you want each and every member to be an enthusiastic strategic partner and advocate.
If you want to grow your board, focus on cultivating a diverse board that fills the gaps and opens doors for your organization. Grow a board that, at its core, works for you.