Many times, the staff members at the Community Foundation are sought out by nonprofit board and staff members to provide expertise on a number of topics. Planned giving, social media, grant writing, governance–these and other topics are often addressed by Community Foundation staff.
Unfortunately, we do not have the time to appropriately assist all area nonprofits in all of these areas, so we thought that through the blog we would respond to new questions as we can, and offer the responses to some Frequently Asked Questions we have considered in the past, when there is not a “fresh” question coming to us.
So, here is a start:
Where do I find board members?
Before we attack the “where,” we must consider the “what.” It is important to know what you need–what are the skills needed to propel your organization forward? Are there pieces of your strategic plan that require certain skill-sets? Do you have people with a knowledge of marketing, finance, the law, the community? Do you have the advantage of a diversity of backgrounds and ideas?
Once you know what skills and attributes you need, you can look for such individuals in a variety of places. Consider those who volunteer for your organization, as they are already committed to your work enough to give of their time. Similarly, donors are a potential source of board members for the same reason–current commitment. Business leaders have a wealth of skills, along with knowledge of the economic environment. The graduates of local leadership programs are often looking for just such an opportunity. And retirees not only have tremendous experience to bring to the table, but also a little extra time to share. Members of the clergy, former elected officials, and even the spouses of former board members are possibilities. And if success is not yet found, ask all of those who have declined to serve for some suggested names.
I hope this helps. Please respond with your successes, other suggestions for finding board members, and even those things that did not work well for you.
And if you have a question for a future blog, please respond with that as well. Remember that nonprofits have many similarities, and perhaps we can all learn together. Learning and improving are among the everyday matters that make EVERY DAY MATTER.
Denise K. Spencer