Where to Find New Board Members?

Where do I find new board members?

It’s not just a question of where to find board members.  They may be found in all walks of life and professions, and we will get to that in a moment.  The question is, how do I find board members who are passionate about our mission and have the skill sets we need to move forward our strategic plan?

There are four key ways to recruit new board members:

  1. Leverage your current board. Each of your board members has his/her own network of colleagues, professionals, friends who may have the passion, commitment, and skill set you are looking for.  Your current board members are the most knowledgeable and passionate about your organization.
  2.  Public announcement on your organization’s home page. This is an all-out call for nominations to your current members, donors, stakeholders and others interested in your mission. You will need a committee to sift through the resumes but it will attract the people most interested in your organization.
  3. Professional Organizations. The most active and engaged potential board directors are active in their own professional associations. The Board members and the Executive Director can network to spread the word.   Let’s say you are looking for a director with financial expertise.  Contact your local, regional or international financial organization (NYSSA, NYSSCPA, FWA, CFAI).  Let’s say you need someone with marketing and branding expertise contact DMA. For HR expertise- SHRM. For professional development – ATD.
  4. Companies/websites that specialize in getting the word out: Board Serve is designed for social service agencies in certain neighborhoods.  Board Assist has over 20,000 names in its database and charges a small fee for non-profits.  This company requires an application process where you share information about your organization, its mission, the executive and the board chair as well as the required financial commitment. You can also post your Board Director job description on large job sites designed for non-profit job seekers such as Indeed.com, Idealist.com,  and Bridgespan.com

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