Greenlights Michael & Susan Dell Foundation

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Need more support in board development? Greenlights' OnBoard will give you the recruitment and orientation tips you need to help your board succeed.


5 Steps to Great New Board Members

Nearly 70% of nonprofits report difficulty recruiting new board members, according to a Mission Capital's Central Texas Board Report released in 2011, but getting the best people involved is critical. These 5 steps will help you recruit and orient new board members to strategically meet your organization’s needs.

1. Determine who you want (and need) on your board.
Like any effective team, a nonprofit board needs diversity of perspectives, backgrounds and skills to govern appropriately. Complete this board member matrix to analyze your current board and prioritize needs for recruitment. This board self-assessment will also help you identify current strengths and weaknesses of your board, and potential gaps you have moving forward.

2. Find potential board members.
Once you’re clear on the type of people you need to recruit, post your open board positions and share the post with your networks. Encourage your current board to spread the word with their networks and recommend potential candidates. If you're a Mission Capital member, search 501(c)ommunity users by areas of interest and identify expertise by who's participating in community discussions (log-in required).
 
3. Get to know board candidates and “make the ask.”
Creating a process for focused, intentional recruitment is important in finding the right people for your board. Read these tips on board recruitment , including finding and meeting with candidates, “making the ask,” and getting formal commitment from the candidate before putting the ultimate decision in the hands of your existing board.
 
4. Set new board members up for success.
Board members report higher satisfaction when they participate in a formal, in-person orientation. The orientation process is key to bringing new board members up to speed, and helps them quickly become engaged in your board.  Get tips on designing an effective board orientation.
 
5. Get new board members in the 501(c)ommunity to connect with other board members and access board resources and services from Mission Capital.
Is your organization a Mission Capital member? If so, you can request access to the 501(c)ommunity for your board members. If not, consider becoming an organizational member. Annual membership fees start at $135 per year and include a wealth of benefits . Not sure if you’re a member? Check our member directory .

 

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