Setting criteria for board members

What does it take to be a good nonprofit board member?

At the 2104 Association For Healthcare Philanthropy (AHP) International Conference, Theresa Pesch, president of the Children’s Foundation, maintained that a simple desire to do good is not enough in itself any more. She said that prospective board members must demonstrate the following:

  • Must Haves
  • Ethics
  • Passion for the mission
  • Made the organization among the top three philanthropic/volunteer priorities
  • Generosity, a philanthropic donor
  • Participation in fund development (or a willingness to do so)
  • Compatibility
  • Willingness to question the status quo
  • Very Important
  • Personal philanthropic capacity to give
  • Network of influence or affluence
  • Ability to meet diversity goals
  • Strategic thinking
  • Helpful or Needed
  • Experienced board member or leader

Additional, needed expertise based on the vision and strategic direction of the organization.

Pesch also emphasized the following, which she called “Recruiting for Wealth.” Paying attention to wealth in board recruitment correlates with board generosity, according to the BWF 2011 Healthcare Philanthropy Survey. When the board of trustees gives 20 percent or more of what the institution raises, the institution raises significantly more money, also according to the 2011 survey. Organizations do have fundraising requirements of board members: 42 percent to solicit funds, 58 percent to identify donors and 71 percent to make a personal contribution.