Nonprofit Radio: Recruiting Your Nonprofit Board Members

I’ll be on on Nonprofit Radio this Friday, October 9, at 10:00 am PT / 1:00 pm ET talking with host Tony Martignetti about recruiting nonprofit board members. The archived podcast is available here. Our discussion is prompted by a recent blog post I wrote, 12 Considerations Before You Join that Nonprofit Board, which itself was inspired by a popular article in The Nonprofit Quarterly, 12 Reasons Why You Should Gracefully Resign from a Nonprofit Board, which I originally wrote in 2014.

Here are some of the recruitment considerations and tips we may discuss from the nonprofit’s perspective:

  • Does the candidate know and understand the legal responsibilities and expectations of a board member?
  • Is the candidate’s primary motivation for serving as a board member to contribute to the advancement of the nonprofit’s mission?
  • Does the candidate have the will and the time to meet the requirements, responsibilities, and legal duties associated with serving as a board member of the nonprofit?
  • Is the candidate in a position to devote any other resources (including money) necessary to serve as a board member for your organization?
  • Will the candidate exercise their independent judgment and express their point of view, particularly if others on the board are falling short on their decision-making diligence and oversight?
  • Are your organization’s mission, vision, and values (including with respect to diversity, equity, and inclusion, if those are agreed upon values) compatible with the candidate’s priorities?
  • Do your nonprofit’s reputation and organizational culture meet the candidate’s expectations?
  • Are your filings and documents (Forms 990, articles, bylaws, policies, minutes, financial statements/audits) in order and reflective of appropriate governance, compliance, and financial health?
  • Does your board composition and executive leadership inspire confidence that the nonprofit is being well-governed and well-managed?
  • If your organization is dealing with or imminently confronting some difficult issues that will require extra effort, intelligence, and tact from the board (e.g., financial challenges, leadership transition, litigation, dissatisfied employees, equity and inclusion efforts), is the candidate aware of these issues and demands?
  • What protections does your organization offer to its directors and officers (e.g., insurance, strong indemnification provisions)?