If you’re a nonprofit leader looking for best practices for your board, you came to the right place. In other words, we’ve been exploring how to ensure that you have a well-functioning board. And, this week we’ll be discussing the best interview questions you can ask potential board members. But, before we get to those all-important questions, in case you’ve missed our recent posts, here’s your opportunity to read those posts as well.
- Nonprofit Board of Directors: What You Need to Know
- Simplicity: Recruiting the Best People for Your Nonprofit
- Board Member Characteristics: Basics for Nonprofits
So, now let’s switch to new nonprofit board member recruits and interview questions. Let’s say you’re nominating committee has surfaced some excellent candidates. As a result, these are people you would like to join your board. First, think that it’s a privilege for them to serve on your board. In other words, get your mind into the space that while they will interview you, this is also your chance to ask interview questions. In short, even if they are social media experts or major donors, you’re seeking people who are a good fit for your charity.
1) Interview Question #1: What do you think of our mission?
Nonprofit board interview questions should always start with this question. In other words, it’s vitally important if a prospective board member cares about the work you do. Perhaps this person has been associated with your group; that’s awesome. You’ll have a lot more information. But, even if they’re not, having this as one of your interview questions is essential. Meaning, you want to know what they think about your mission. Do they have a personal experience or connection to it? If they don’t, they’re not a fit.
2) What are your philanthropic interests?
One of the other critical interview questions you’ll want to ask is about their other charitable interests. Why is this question important? Well, that’s easy. In short, someone who is going to be engaged with your work, and advocating for you is someone who cares about charity. And, even if they have never served on a board, they’ll express an interest in some way in the nonprofit sector. And, if they have other interests, you’ll gain valuable insight into what motivates them to support charities.
3) What’s your perspective about our organization?
When you have a potential board member, asking what they think about you is always a good idea. In sum, you’ll have the chance to find out what others think about you. And, that’s a good thing. So, go ahead, add this to your interview questions. Even if the person seated in front of you says tough things, you want to hear them. Consequently, this is the time for you to clarify someone who doesn’t have all of the information. And, it’s also a chance to learn how you’re community views you.
4) Are you able to make the time commitment for serving on the board?
When someone serves a nonprofit board, there are responsibilities. So, one of the interview questions you’ll be sure to want to ask is if someone has the time to serve. For instance, will they be able to join a committee? And, will they also participate in committee and board meetings. Further, we know one of the responsibilities of board members is fundraising. In other words, one of the critical responsibilities of nonprofit boards is to raise money. So, will they be able to do that when asked?
5) Nonprofit board interview questions that matter: Fundraising
Finally, when you’re developing your list of interview questions, you have to be specific and ask about fundraising. Boards are legally responsible for the organization. Also, one of their responsibilities is ensuring you have the resources you need. So, don’t be shy and ask about fundraising. You may likely hear that they don’t have a lot of money. And, that can be fine. You can have a “give or get” board, which means they can ask and help you get fundraising dollars from others. Or, they can contribute within their means. The bottom line is that money is vital to your mission. And, your board must serve as the leaders in fundraising.
On the topic of fundraising, we know that’s a big one. So, next week, we’ll be sharing with you our ideas about how you can get your board volunteers to raise money for your group. We hope you’ve enjoyed our article on interview questions, and look forward to sharing with you more fundraising ideas and marketing expertise on our blog.
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