High performing boards can’t be bored

June 18, 2014       The NonProfit Times      

It is no secret that a board can make a big difference in the success of a nonprofit. But, sometimes there’s a problem getting the best possible people for a board.

In his book “Super Boards,” William R. Mott presents interesting insights into recruiting the best possible board. He wrote that the following factors are important considerations:

  • Gender. Representation should reflect the organization’s constituency. It is not just the politically right thing to do. It will also enhance the organization in numerous ways.
  • Age. A range of ages is most likely a healthy way to build the board, a good way of adding different perspectives and depth.
  • Occupation. Look for areas that will be helpful to the organization. There is value in having different occupations represented, but be sure to have members with knowledge of finance, marketing and facilities.
  • Ethnicity. Having representation from different ethnic groups demonstrates an understanding of the various contributions that can be enormously constructive and beneficial.
  • Recommendation source. Be sure the person making the recommendation is someone whose opinion is valued and who has the best interests of the organization at heart rather than someone looking to pad a particular agenda.
  • Other board affiliations and interests. Someone who has served or is serving on another board could indicate the ability to be an effective and supportive board member.
  • Strengths and specific areas of contribution. A matrix identifying needs and strengths allows the board to be intentional about what skills and abilities are most needed.
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