Simplicity with a nonprofit board of directors can be a reality. But, we know that many groups have a tough time with their boards. That’s especially true in smaller groups. However, this month, we’re looking to help you with your nonprofit leadership volunteers. In case you missed it, last week we wrote about the legal and strategic responsibilities of a nonprofit board. This week, we’re going to share with you our thoughts about recruiting the best people for your board.
Nonprofit boards can be a challenge, but we’re all about simplicity. So, in this post, you’re going to discover a few of the best ideas to ensure that your nonprofit has the best leadership available.
1. Take a look at who’s already on board
When you’re looking for the basics and simplicity for your nonprofit, the first place to begin is with who’s already on board. Yes, while boards oversee the work of executive directors, nonprofit leaders also manage boards. In other words, the relationship between a CEO and the board is one of mutual management and interchange. As a nonprofit leader, you want to ensure that your nominating committee has the names of people that will help you advance the mission of your organization.
As an example, if you have someone on your board who is not constructive, you should ask if yourself is there is another role for this person when his or her term expires. For a nonprofit board to work well, it needs cohesion, unity, and integrity around actions. So, it’s essential to see who’s on the board already and what they’re bringing to the table––or not. Remember, serving on a board is a responsibility. But’s it’s also a position of honor. So, your nonprofit board should have enthusiastic people who want to serve.
2. Nonprofit board simplicity also means seeing who you need
Nonprofit boards have a responsibility to ensure that your group has everything it needs. As a result, that means boards are responsible for ensuring offices, fundraising resources, and also making sure you have the right team on board. So, when you’re looking at how to manage your nonprofit board with simplicity, after evaluating who’s on board, you’re going to want to take a look at who you need. For instance, let’s say that you require more fundraising revenue. You want directors who can help you with fundraising ideas and fundraising. That means you’re want to get active people in the community who understand the importance of nonprofit leadership in fundraising.
Therefore, the people who serve on your nonprofit nominating committee are essential. In other words, it is this group of people who will get the people you need for your board. They’ll be looking for people of integrity, and who can work in unity with those already on board. As a result of this critical work, the nominating committee figures out the process to recruit excellent team players, and where. For instance, they might want to take a look at local associations, community leaders, and business people.
3. Diversity is a critical element of a nonprofit board
It’s important here to talk about diversity. Diversity is good for several reasons. For example, as a group that’s looking to improve society, having a diverse board shows that you mean business. In other words, the diversity and inclusion at your board demonstrate that you understand that an all white or all male board is not going to understand the realities of the modern world. Since our country is becoming more diverse, the chances are high that you’re serving people who are not only males or white. Therefore, diversity will help you bring unity of voices from your community, which is always a great approach.
There’s another reason why diversity is essential at your nonprofit board level. When people are of the same backgrounds (i.e., gender, income, race, religion, etc.), groupthink tends to happen. When groupthink occurs, although you desire simplicity and unity, what you end up getting is dysfunction. In other words, that sameness brings chaos. When groupthink occurs, people steer away from conflict. Meaning, debating essential issues related to the work you do can be a no-go territory. And, in turn, the decisions that happen might not be in the best interest of the nonprofit or the community.
4. Simplicity means ensuring term limits and committee responsibilities
An essential aspect of good board governance is ensuring that your board has what it’s supposed to do in writing. For example, many nonprofits do not have in their bylaws how long board members will serve. And, what ends up happening is you get founding board members serving for many years. That becomes a problem in time because people tend to remain in their comfort zone if not challenged with new ideas and thinking. So, it’s essential to ensure for the working unity of your board, that everyone has a clear understanding of term limits. It’ll help you keep people who work and evolve and move out those who do not.
Also, when you’re recruiting for board simplicity, you have to be clear about the responsibilities for members. So, for example, with recruits, you’ll want to ensure that they know how many meetings they are obligated to attend. You’ll want them to join a committee of the board. All committees should have written responsibilities for the group and chair. And, one of the most vital things they will have to do is fundraising for your group. So, make sure that they understand how much they will raise or how they will contribute to your organization.
5. Getting the right mix of people for your nonprofit board
When you’re looking for board simplicity, it means you have to have the right combination of people. So, you’re going to want to know the skills and attributes of the people you’ll want to get on board. But, you’re also going to want to have in mind the types of people from your community that can help you advance your mission. So, as an example, you will probably want people with backgrounds in finance and law. These people will help you to ensure that you comply with necessary regulations. And, they will help ensure that the safeguarding of the money in your nonprofit.
However, nonprofit board unity comes in many forms. Therefore, you’re going to want to recruit on board people who have backgrounds in marketing, social media, and fundraising. You’ll wish to, perhaps, recruit people connected to local government leaders. And, you may also want to get people on board who understand or are major donors. While fundraising has changed significantly in recent years, donors who can provide your group with substantial financial gifts are still relevant.
Finally, remember that attaining unity and simplicity from your nonprofit board comes with people working together who enjoy each other. In other words, it takes time to get a cohesive group. So, don’t rush to get just anyone on board. Instead, think carefully about who you want, and take the time to do it right.
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