What has always worked might not always work. Things change due to new times, new pressures, new methods. That also goes for board membership and development. It’s time to start thinking new.
During the 2014 Association for Healthcare Philanthropy (AHP) International Conference, Theresa Pesch, president of the Children’s Hospitals and Clinics of Minnesota, said there are new demands on a board that make traditional practice of finding board members and getting the best out of them is no longer tenable.
Traditional practice would mean that the nominating committee meets annually to think about names and then asks them to join, in an effort to fill available positions or vacancies. Board/volunteer orientation, training and development happens “on the job” without any established practice.
Not any more. Pesch said that the new demands mean that:
- The committee on trusteeship creates a multi-year recruitment agenda and is constantly looking for strong board members and volunteers;
- Recruiting is about finding individuals with specific skills and resources and selling them on board membership or volunteer positions;
- Recruit all the time. It’s better to have vacancies than weak board members or volunteers;
- Development is experiences; coaching and mentoring;
- Term limits with opportunities for ongoing involvement; and,
- Consider a board/volunteer pipeline, if not now, then in the future.