PMA Consulting, LLC

Recruiting the Right Nonprofit Board Members

A recent article at Fast Company addressed how people might know whether they are prepared for a leadership position on a nonprofit board. At PMA, we know how critical it is for a nonprofit organization to have committed, engaged board members.

Here’s some advice to nonprofit leadership on what to look for in prospective board members:

  1. Find people who are passionate about your organization and the work of your organization. You need to have members that will talk passionately in the board room, but also out in the community regarding the cause and mission of your organization.
  2. Be cautious of people who want to serve on your board simply to serve on a board. People may decide to do so solely for the notoriety or to have an addition to their resume.
  3. With the growth in the number of nonprofits throughout the country, there is competition in recruiting talented members to boards. While it is important to work with today’s leaders within your community, it is just is crucial to uncover tomorrow’s leaders to sustain your message for years to come.
  4. Make sure people have the time to appropriately serve your organization. Although many organizations only require a few hours per month, a difficult conversation that the head of an organization can have with a board member is to see whether or not the board member should continue their service.
  5. While not every member needs to directly raise funds for the organization, each board member should be committed in some capacity to the fundraising process. This could include referring prospective donors, writing letters, making thank you calls, or having direct contact with donors.

While there isn’t a perfect system of uncovering and recruiting board members, having the right board members who can help lead your organization into the future will also make it stronger. Some prospective members might not be ready for membership today, but having them serve your organization in some way will allow them to become better versed in the purpose of your organization for the future.

For other Board Development topics, check out our previous posts:

  1. Forming a Nonprofit Board
  2. Evaluating Your Board and Its Members
  3. Effective Board Retreat Strategies
  4. 7 Steps for Effective Board Development