Disappointing board members don’t just happen. Someone invites them into your board room. By bad board members, I mean individuals who rarely attend meetings, give lots of advice but avoid implementing it, contribute the minimum, and otherwise fail to lead. How can you avoid them? You need a board recruitment plan, make sure in includes these three elements.
1. Always be recruiting.
When it comes to board prospects, you want a pair and a spare. Develop a low-labor process to recruit year-round. Establish a system to drop candidates into your candidate pool. A big pool means you’ll never invite out of desperation.
2. Invite known quantities.
Known quantities are people you trust. Trust builds others over time. You experience a lot together. From these events, you learn how others behave in groups, under pressure, and when confronted with unpleasant news. Know your candidates.
3. Select with care.
From your candidate pool, pick individuals who:
make decisions based on facts and logic,
will move your nonprofit to the next level,
give great advice.
Does this seem like a lot of work? It probably is more effort than you invest in recruiting. However, you’ll find it takes less energy than you’ll spend dealing with second-rate board members. Do the work upfront to avoid damage. Contact me, if you would like help.
Your effort makes the difference. On your watch, invite great board members to your table.
Karen Eber Davis provides customized advising and coaching around nonprofit strategy and board development. People leaders hire her to bring clarity to sticky situations, break through barriers that seem insurmountable, and align people for better futures. She is the author of 7 Nonprofit Income Streams and Let's Raise Nonprofit Millions Together.
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