Recuiting Board Members for your non-profit

  • December 18, 2015

One of the most difficult things about being on a board for a non-profit is recruiting board members. Currently, I sit on two boards. Both have different focuses and needs. However, both have the same issue; recruiting board members. After experiencing this not only from an external consultant perspective but also from a board member, here are my quick thoughts surrounding board member recruitment. 

  1. Recruit board members regularly: If your board has term limits, your board should be recruiting to fill a certain number of seats annually. Nothing hurts a board worse than when you have a 1/2 of a 9-person board leave within a few months of each other. 
  2. Create a recruitment posting/flyer: This should be a quick one-page handout that can be handed out to not only to potential board members but also posted or emailed to organizations. This should include the mission and vision of the organization, expectations of board members (think time commitment or financial responsibility), duration of the appointment. 
  3. Where to find board members: 1) see if your local United Way has a community listing. Some United Way organizations will send out a weekly email about the latest events. This email goes out to most of the local non-profit community. 2)  Personally, through the two boards that I currently sit on, I have found that was just as effective as the United Way listing. 3) Social Media, use your social media (Facebook, LinkedIn, etc.).
  4. Interview Potential Board Members: To get the best and most qualified on your board, treat this process as a mini job interview. The interview should take no longer than an hour and should include as many board members as needed, but no less than two. Please make sure that your questions are appropriate in alignment with your organization and that you are not asking illegal questions or inappropriate questions. 

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