Nonprofit Board Recruitment Packet

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There’s an age-old saying that goes, “You’re just as good as the civilization you surround yourself with.”

This is certainly true in our individual lives, and the reality that the amount of spfinishing service providers have actually invested in recruiting has boosted yearly since 2012 (the sector spent 151.8 billion U.S. dollars in 2019!) tells us that finding the appropriate human being for an organization is a priority, also.

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Many world think of recruiting in regards to staff, but for a nonprofit, it’s simply as necessary to be attracting, engaging via, appointing, and retaining solid board members.

The benefits of assembling the best nonprofit board seem obvious: skilled contributors, mission evangelists, staff cheerleaders, and also passionate fundraisers are all functions an excellent board member must fill. If it seems like finding board members to fill all those duties (ok, we’d resolve for most of those roles) sounds difficult — it’s bereason it is! 41% of nonprofits battle through "recruiting top quality board members that are passionate around the nonprofit"s cause."

And even once you find the best board members, nonprofits report difficulties to board performance that range from an unwillingness to fundraise to a confusion around board members’ roles.



But it’s not all gimpend and doom! Even though nonrevenues have been honest around their struggles through their board recruitment procedure, many type of organizations have actually been able to uncover success with the best board members at their side.

Read More: 8 Types of Annoying Board Members

Finally, this is not a one-time exercise – you are building a irreversible connection. Although you could be reasoning about filling a one-perboy gap appropriate currently, tbelow will always be turnover of the board. So it’s crucial to have actually a process in place quite than react to a need in-the-moment. While you’ll desire to revisit the certain criteria on a continual basis to encertain they suit your present requirements, having actually a recruitment process in place takes the pressure off. And if your process consists of keeping on-going applications and leads, you may have the ability to jump best to the screening process as soon as a board place comes available!

So whether you’re a staff perchild coordinating the recruitment procedure, a board member helping out in “filling the gap” on your board, or a member of the nominating or board advancement committee, it’s necessary to follow a recruitment procedure to encertain you identify, assess and pick the right candiday for this very essential project.

Who Should Manage the Recruitment Process?

In some tiny or recently establimelted establishments, board members or committee members recommfinish people for consideration by their board team or an executive committee.

Other establishments create nominating or board breakthrough committees that control the entire process. These committees are typically appointed by the board and also encompass board members and also various other members of the organization to sell “a mix of perspectives.” The nominating committee is often chaired by a previous board chair and might be a year-round standing committee, or assembled when tright here are board vacancies.

Of course, the structure or membership of your board selection team or committee must be customized to suit your organization’s requirements and may even be stipulated by your byregulations. The vital is to have actually a team of people committed to taking the moment to develop and also follow a structured procedure.

Here are 4 steps to creating that structured procedure and building a solid board:

Step 1: Define Your Needs

How can you understand a candidate is a good enhance unmuch less you’ve determined what you’re looking for?

To ensure an efficient, very functioning board, you must specify the duty and expectations for board members. This implies defining the job, expertise the abilities forced to be successful in that project, and identifying the values and characteristics that will certainly allow the brand-new recruit to become part of a cohesive board team. It’s additionally necessary to develop certain expectations for people and also the board as a whole in order to collection purposes and evaluate performance.

Do you have a job description?

As with the hiring process for a passist task, once you are recruiting board members, you begin with a project summary that outlines: the position’s key duties and also responsibilities; the essential requirements to fulfill those; and details on what the commitment requires. Here’s an outline of the kind of information to encompass in your job or function description. You can usage this as a pointer to draft a project description that meets your organization’s specific requirements.


What benefits are involved with being a board member for your organization? (e.g., making a difference (how?); satisfaction in working through an energetic, committed board team, attending distinct events, etc.)

Responsibility and also authority:

To whom is the board member accountable?

What authority does each board member have?

What are the general duties board members are supposed to take on?


How long are board members meant to serve?

What are the conditions under which a board member deserve to resign before the term is ended?

What are the conditions under which a board member may be rerelocated from the position? (this may be stipulated in your bylaws)

General duties:

What are the typical duties supposed of a board member? (e.g., athas a tendency continual board meetings; reviews monthly financial statements; participates in fundraising; participates in/manages committees; etc.)

Are board members supposed to manage or mentor the organization’s staff?

Time commitment:

Approximately what is the time commitment expected of board members? (e.g., number of hours for reviewing materials; attfinishing board meetings; attfinishing committee meetings, annual meeting, other tasks?)

Legal / financial commitments:

What are the legal effects of taking on this role? (e.g., liability; accountability?)

What are the expectations in regards to byregulation advancement, monitoring, and so on.?

Are tright here financial expectations? (e.g., are board members meant to raise funds, provide sponsorships, etc?)

What is the board member’s duty in the organization’s finances? (e.g., is the board responsible for budgain management? Is the board responsible for the organization’s financial health?)

Qualifications / skills requirements:

What general skills are needed? (e.g., interpersonal, problem-addressing and also interactions skills, etc.)

What are some of the various other skills or specialization you may be looking for? (e.g., board governance, plan development, financial specialization, strategic planning, marketing abilities, occasion management endure, and so on.)

Are there particular abilities or features you need appropriate now?

It deserve to be tempting to try and also find board members that seem prefer a jack-of-all-trades. This is specifically true for little nonprofits wright here board members and staff end up doing the majority of various points. But as much as you deserve to, try and identify the best needs your board has actually and recruit board members with skills and also specialization that assist satisfy those certain needs.

For example:

Is the community you serve stood for on your board?

Are you trying to find someone with financial skills; fundraising, marketing or one-of-a-kind occasions experience; humale sources expertise?

Qualities & characteristics:

While abilities are absolutely vital, when it comes to guiding your non-profit’s or association’s mission, looking at the fit for values and qualities is additionally necessary.

Some essential board attributes to store in mind when recruiting board members include:

Understanding of your neighborhood and also its needs

Passion for your cause

Willingness to commit time for board meetings, committee meetings, planning sessions, distinct events

Team player - functions well in a group

Direct and also unbiased

Step 2: Find Your Candidates

The best-instance scenario is to construct leads (via a nominating or board advance committee) and also keep a list of potential candidates throughout the year. Then, if your organization has actually a procedure in place to save track of individuals that offer to volunteer throughout the year, you deserve to sindicate pull that information and also start screening those candidays.

However, if there’s no pre-existing list or database of volunteers, you might want to build a process for gathering and storing this information from here on in. This could involve producing a details Board Application Form (see the section below), or an extra general volunteer application create, virtual database, or at the exceptionally leastern, a spreadsheet.

While you might be lucky enough to have folks providing their solutions, there’s regularly a perception that you should be asked or invited to serve. So if you don’t have any type of leads or list of board candidays, here are some concepts for finding brand-new recruits.

Getting the word out:

The initially step is letting folks know that you have an opening on your board. As we detailed in our volunteer recruitment overview, tright here are a variety of means to get the message out, including:

Referrals and word-of-mouth:

The first area to start is via the conventional request for referrals from existing board members and also volunteers. Ask your existing team to look for candidays from among:



Colleagues and associates


Community members (at church; clubs; sporting groups, and so on.)

Publicize within your network:

To recognize candidates from a broader network, consider:

Writing a newsletter article or a write-up on your organization’s blog or forum

Posting a request on your Facebook page

Posting a compelling video or photos of last year’s event on your FB web page and also ask for new recruits (follow-up with anyone that “Likes” your post)

External promotion:

You might should widen your search to include:

Putting an ad in your community newspaper

Posting a request via your municipal or state/province volunteer center

Using virtual sources to find candidates

You can likewise consider finding candidates using some digital corresponding or volunteer programs such as:

Leverage your current members and also take advantage of your regional community:

Greg Laney, president of the Atlanta Area Compensation Association, said that for his association board members are nominated for certain positions. However before, these board members aren"t nominated based upon a popularity contest. Current board members, and also other members in the association, take the moment to determine that would be a good fit for the board for the upcoming year.

"Our board has actually about 12 people... and also then we have actually directors at huge that manage particular tasks. In time, our current board and also our current members acquire to accomplish everyone with the networking avenues," Laney shelp. "We learn around the experiences and also ability sets of our members. They actively recruit throughout the year and also encourage members to authorize up for board duties. Thstormy that, we then nominate board members for the following year."

If possible, setup those netfunctioning methods within the community you serve. That will certainly much better your opportunities at attracting neighborhood neighborhood members, who might not otherwise have access to attfinishing your occasions or know around them.

Step 3: Screen and Select Your New Board Member

Application form:

The application develop (which have the right to likewise be an digital form) will certainly aid you gather and collect indevelopment about each applicant. Similar to a task application, a board application have to encompass fields for biographical indevelopment, space to define why they desire to join the board, what they hope to attain and learn from coming to be a board member, and a area for any type of questions.

See more: " Is Nonprofit One Word - Nonprofit Definition & Meaning

Although board members may refer or recruit colleagues or friends, it’s necessary that all candidates or prospects go via the full application and also screening process to encertain consistency and to avoid any disputes of interest or potential concerns down the road.

Screening/interview process:

Once you’ve reperceived the applications, you must build a process for screening potential candidates so you can develop a short-list for interviews.

Screening is an important step in this procedure and part of your due diligence work. AsVolunteer Canada’s Screening Handbook (PDF) suggests:

Screening methods play an essential role for establishments in fulfilling their ethical, legal, and also ethical obligations to all those they reach, consisting of members, clients, participants, employees, and also volunteers. The benefits of screening are threefold:

To much better match people’s skills and endure to the needs and also methods in organizations;

To enhance the high quality and also security of programs and also solutions in communities;

To minimize the dangers and also licapability for both world and organizations.

Interwatch tips:

Interviewing through all potential candidates offers an chance to comment on the role and also discover out about the candidate’s: background, skills, interests, qualifications, and personal purposes. And, mostly, to see if he or she is a great fit for the duty, the board team, and also the company overall.

Here are a few sample intersee questions you can craft to enhance your nonprofit’s board objectives:

What perform you know around our organization?

Why are you interested in committing your time and energy to us?

What perform you think are the characteristics of a great board member?

Can you tell us around your suffer in fundraising? (ie, are they comfortable via it?)

What is your suffer with our community?

What is your time availability? (ie, would certainly they have the ability to attfinish the occasional donor lunch or event outside of board meetings)

(if you’re screening for a particular board position) What is your level of experience through huguy resources/budgeting/marketing?


Some organizations develop a short-list of candidays with the screening and also intersee process and then invite them to attfinish a board meeting. Because the selection process may have actually only associated a couple of of the board members, this meeting supplies an opportunity for the board to meet and also interact with the candidates. It also lets the people watch first-hand also what a board meeting is all about.


The last action in the screening process is for the nominating committee to pick the finalist from among the short-provided candidates. Aacquire, the final selection must be made based upon a collection of criteria in terms of a skills-collection fit, as well as a discussion of the candidate"s capacity to fit through the board and also the company in regards to values, attitude, and also personality. Some establishments likewise need that screening of board candidays involves a police document examine.

Once the choice has been made, each of the candidays demands to be informed (preferably via an individual contact from the chair of the nominating committee) to officially invite them to join the board, or else to give thanks to them and also let them understand if their services aren’t compelled. If, but, any type of of the various other short-noted candidates were thought about a good fit, take into consideration letting them understand you’d prefer to speak to on them if there are any kind of future openings on your board.

Alengthy via the speak to, the new board member must receive a letter confirming his/her invitation to sign up with the board and also outlining the role, timelines, commitment, and also all pertinent details.

Make expectations for board participation clear:

Referring ago to a well-developed board summary permits you to be open about the expectations you have actually for all of your board members. The deeper you go right into the intersee and selection process, the even more it’s correct to ask particular concerns about how a potential board member’s experiences, skills, and also lifeformats fit via board expectations.

Several of the many vital board expectations to put in creating and also talk around include:

Time commitments (regular board meetings)

Event participation (attfinish annual conferences, netfunctioning events)

Contributing to neighborhood development (reexisting the nonprofit at occasions, stop to the media)

Fundincreasing objectives (individual or for the whole board)

Information specific to their duty. For example, if they were preferred bereason of their skills in architecture, and also you’re gaining ready to begin a huge structure project, be open up that their architectural specialization will certainly be essential.

Step 4: Orient Your New Board Member

Congratulations! You’ve schosen a new board member.

But the process isn’t fairly done yet – you need to orient the brand-new member so they are ready to take on their brand-new role. The orientation format deserve to be done with providing a welcome package of indevelopment, an orientation video, a presentation, or a training session.

However before, at a minimum, new board recruits need to receive the following information:

An overcheck out of the organization – its mission, vision, values

Organization chart – outlining structure (e.g., board, committees, staff duties & duties, etc.)

Organization’s yearly report and also any kind of various other pertinent financial reports

Role description (and any additional documentation or creates that need to be completed)

The organization"s strategic plan

The organization"s the majority of recent newsletter and/or brochure

Schedule of board meetings (and locations), annual meetings, and also any kind of various other occasions he/she is required to attend

Contact information – board chair, members, staff contacts, etc.

For even more indevelopment on this, examine out our overview to board training programs.

In conclusion:

Board recruitment doesn’t need to be a difficult and immediate task to fill a gap.

While you might have one seat open up right now, tbelow will always be turnover of the board, so it’s essential to have a process in place fairly than a stop-gap meacertain.

While you’ll want to revisit the certain criteria on a continual basis to ensure they suit your existing requirements, having a recruitment process in place takes the press off.

We hope this post helps you in gaining started via or refreshing your board recruitment process!