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Nonprofit Leaders 4min read

How to Select the Best Nonprofit Board Members

Seeking out new board members for your nonprofit organization can certainly be a challenge. In some cases, it may even be nerve-wracking. Many different factors are at play here, of course, but sticking with a game plan can serve you well in finding the right candidates to oversee your nonprofit fundraising efforts. Remember these six key items to stay on track during your search.

1. Passion is Priority One

Nonprofit Fundraising How to Select the Best Board Members

One of the best ways to find board members for your nonprofit fundraising group is to look for those individuals who are passionate about your cause.

Focusing on this core aspect will not only help your new board members launch into a great start, but it will also give your current board members a refreshed organizational vision.

2. Diversity Unlocks Possibilities

Are the majority of your board members older? Recruit someone younger who can inspire. Have you noticed a need to balance out genders? Now is a great time to bring in more men or more women. Diversifying the racial, ethnic, and cultural profile of your nonprofit board will bring in much-needed broader perspectives to explore for your organization.

With more diversity in your nonprofit board, your organization will become stronger as a whole.

3. Recruit from Within

Nonprofit Fundraising How to Select the Best Board Members

Your future board member could very well be from your own support network. Give your volunteers and donors the opportunity to become board member candidates.

Invite them to attend an informational session about what it means to be a board member. Bring potential candidates to a board meeting session as special guests.

Because they already care deeply about your cause, they will likely be a perfect fit. They were simply waiting to be asked.

4. Establish Nonprofit Fundraising Expectations

While nonprofit board members traditionally did not handle finances in the past, times have certainly changed. It would be prudent for your candidates to have knowledge about nonprofit fundraising, or at least have interest in learning about the process. The more well-versed they are in fundraising, the better they can understand the ins and outs of your operation. The best board members understand all of what goes into running a nonprofit, and fundraising is one of the most important aspects.

While board members aren’t technically required to be financial supporters of your organization, encourage them to contribute. The practice shows solid evidence of their commitment to the cause, and it will give them firsthand knowledge of your organization’s fundraising systems.

5. The Matter of Size

Carefully consider the size of your board. You don’t want to have an excessive number of board members. Most organizational experts recommend no more than 13 to 17 members since it can be difficult for each board member to have a say in a larger group.

On the other hand, very small boards may create a limited perspective, so it’s important to recruit new board members who can round out the group with their particular strengths. Ideally, your board will have 7 to 12 members.

6. Technology as Your Recruitment Tool

From business to personal activities, technology has become a crucial aspect of our lives, and nonprofit boards are no exception. Spread the word about your board recruitment crusade by posting about it on your existing website, email newsletter, and social media accounts. This will give potential candidates a window into what you are looking for, and who is on your current board. Include photos and bios of current members to show an even better view.

Technology is not only important for locating and capturing the attention of potential board members. Discovering how savvy these people are with technology themselves can speak to how well they will fit into your organization. For example, knowledge of nonprofit fundraising technology, like nonprofit apps and online giving, would be a huge bonus quality in potential candidates. Find board members who have skills that can help you move your organization forward into the future.

About the Author

Allison has a passion for charitable giving and believes that small acts of kindness can make the world a better place. She uses her web content and social media expertise to guide churches and nonprofits through the mobile fundraising process.

Allison Weaver