Indispensable Strategies to Manage Board Talent

Finding impeccable board member candidates for your nonprofit can be tricky—but with a strategic plan it doesn’t have to be. Outlined below are five tips to help recruit and retain board member talent.

1. Recruit Like-Minded Individuals  

board membersTo assure passion, board members should appropriately align with your organization’s beliefs and values. To find like-minded prospects, begin your outreach with your existing inner circle. Consider reaching out to the following for referrals:

  • Current and past board members
  • Donors
  • Local community foundations
  • Staff
  • Volunteers

Tapping existing connections allows you to gain deeper insights into whether individuals are a good fit. In our recent report, board member, Kelly Medwick of Nebraska Children and Families Foundation said, “People like to serve on boards with others they like and respect.”

2. Define Roles and Expectations

To eliminate any confusion, establish board member expectations early during the recruitment process. Be honest and transparent with your candidates; clearly explain what their role would be within your organization. Define specific expectations, such as:

  • Board member benefits
  • Financial commitment
  • Job title and role
  • Responsibilities and duties
  • Time commitment

When onboarding new board members, give them a copy of expectations for reference.

3. Match Cultural Characteristics

In addition to aligning with values and beliefs, board members must also connect with your organization’s culture. According to the Small Business Chronicle, culture alignment is crucial to create:

  • Cohesion
  • Healthy competition
  • Loyalty
  • Self and organizational identity
  • Unity

4. Promote Effective Communication

A clear communication path keeps board members on the same page. Meet frequently with your team, so all board members are up-to-date on the latest projects, events, etc.

An effective way to maintain communication is by utilizing board management technology to stay organized, promote transparency and streamline processes.

5. Encourage Ongoing Involvement

The number-one way to keep your board members engaged and passionate is to encourage organizational involvement. Get your board members excited about fundraising, projects and special events by providing them hands-on experience.

Mark Collins of Cascadia Community College Foundation stated in our report, “Nothing replaces getting into the community and developing connections.”

Find opportunities for each board member to use their skills and expertise by aligning them with roles that allow them to shine. The better they connect with your organization and duties, the more they will want to get involved.  

Want to learn more on recruiting and retaining the perfect board members for your organization? Download a free copy of, “Board Management Tips and Tricks: A Community Curated Guide.”

What strategies does your organization use to recruit and retain board members? Share in the comments below.

Image Source: AFGE