Free Nonprofit Webinar! How to Conduct Nonprofit Board Recruitment in 3 Easy Steps
As nonprofit professionals, we may spend our time recruiting talent or volunteers. And when anyone mentions recruiting, that may be the first thing we think of.
But there’s another part of a nonprofit organization that requires plenty of thought – nonprofit board recruitment.
Your nonprofit board is a group of people who focus on the overall strategy and accountability of your organization.
While your volunteers and staff oversee day-to-day operations, your nonprofit board manages the bigger picture.
So having the right nonprofit board members is crucial to running the organization the best way possible.
We’re sharing more about nonprofit board recruitment in this article. And you can watch a free nonprofit webinar on how to do nonprofit board recruitment in 3 easy steps:
Who Makes Up the Nonprofit Board:
The nonprofit board of directors is a group of individuals who make important decisions in how the organization plans to implement its overall strategy. The main goal is to work toward the nonprofit’s mission and achieve its goals.
They also often act as the voice of the nonprofit. When the organization needs to address the public or its community, typically someone from the board of directors speaks up.
Traditionally, the organization needs to complete nonprofit board recruitment for three key positions:
Nonprofit Board Member: President
The president acts as the head of the entire nonprofit board of directors and the nonprofit organization itself. The president of the nonprofit board may also be the executive director of the nonprofit, although the two positions do different things.
The president of the nonprofit focuses on all things related to business. For board meetings, which the president attends all of, they create meeting agendas. This person is also the go-to point of contact for the entire organization. They are in charge of governance, which we’ll get to in a moment.
Nonprofit Board Member: Secretary
While the president of the nonprofit board creates meeting agendas, the board secretary distributes meeting agendas and minutes. Any documentation or paperwork is handled by the secretary, as well. This nonprofit board member keeps up with the organization’s bylaws and makes sure all actions meet those bylaws.
Nonprofit Board Member: Treasurer
The nonprofit treasurer handles the financial responsibilities of the nonprofit organization. They manage receipts and disbursements. They may also work directly with the nonprofit’s finance team.
Why Does Your Nonprofit Board of Directors Matter?
Each nonprofit organization is broken into two distinct parts: governance and management.
The nonprofit board manages the governance of the organization. On the other hand, the executive team handles day-to-day operations.
The management of a nonprofit is handled by an executive director and a team of other executive roles. This team handles the day-to-day operations of the organization, based on the nonprofit governance decisions.
The governance of a nonprofit refers to the large-scale, bigger picture. That is where your nonprofit board of directors comes in. They oversee the entire organization and determine strategy, goals, and direction for it.
That’s why nonprofit board recruitment is so critical. Having the right people in place on your nonprofit board ensures the organization moves in the right direction.
Having a group of nonprofit board members who are well-versed and knowledgeable about the nonprofit sector can help move your nonprofit forward. Plus, they are needed to handle tasks such as filing annual reports and opening nonprofit bank accounts.
How Are Nonprofit Boards Structured?
The way nonprofit boards are structured depends on how established and how large the nonprofit organization is.
As a new, smaller nonprofit, you’ll need to structure your nonprofit board of directors completely. But larger nonprofits may need to restructure based on the growth and the needs of their organization.
Many nonprofit organizations are made up of a few different committees. This allows the entire nonprofit board to handle all of the tasks of the organization allotted to them.
Usually, the committees consist of:
The Governance Committee
This committee oversees the direction and goals of the entire nonprofit board. They help with nonprofit board recruitment. And they monitor and analyze the performance of the entire nonprofit board.
The Internal Affairs Committee
The nonprofit board’s internal affairs committee handles everything that deals with the internal tasks of the nonprofit. From financial organization to capital acquisitions and budget decisions, the internal affairs committee handles all of it.
The External Affairs Committee
Everything that pertains to how the public knows, likes, and trusts the organization is handled by the external affairs committee. This includes marketing, PR, and communications to the public. Nonprofit fundraising also falls under the umbrella of the external affairs committee.
The 4 C’s of Nonprofit Board Recruitment
Choosing the right individuals to make up the nonprofit board is crucial to the success of the organization.
But nonprofit board recruitment can feel daunting when you’re not sure what you’re looking for in an individual.
We recommend using the 4 C’s to help you with recruiting nonprofit board members.
How someone presents themselves is a good determining factor of how they will represent your organization. Someone who makes choices based on integrity and the values of the organization is great for the success of the nonprofit.
Notice how individuals carry themselves, how they interact with others, and the values they believe in.
When you’re recruiting nonprofit board members, be sure your candidates are knowledgeable and have the necessary skills to sit on the board for your nonprofit. Without the right knowledge and experience, they may not be equipped to handle the role effectively.
Just like workplace culture in the “for-profit” world, nonprofits also have a culture. Those are often centered around the organization’s values and beliefs. Make sure nonprofit board member candidates reflect those same values and beliefs so they uphold the nonprofit’s culture.
Connections to the community are always helpful for nonprofit board member candidates. However, having affluent connections isn’t the only type to be on the lookout for. Pay attention to whether or not candidates have a connection to the mission or to the community you serve.
Nonprofit board recruitment is crucial to the success of your nonprofit. We know it can feel overwhelming, though. With the right recruiting strategy and by following excellent tips, you can select the best candidates for the roles.
Sabrina Walker Hernandez is sharing 3 easy tips that she’s used time and time again to conduct nonprofit board recruitment. Watch the free nonprofit webinar below:
Free Nonprofit Webinar: How to Conduct Nonprofit Board Recruitment in 3 Easy Steps
Join Sabrina Walker Hernandez for this 45-minute interactive FREE charity course, where she will show you how to conduct board member recruitment in 3 easy steps.
See webinar transcript below:
Everyone, for a little space. And grace, as you can tell from the intro, I have a cough, does not culvert thank God.
But it may or may have to cough sometimes during this presentation. I apologize in advance. But where today, we're going to be talking about how to conduct nonprofit board recruitment in three easy steps. It's one of the, I love Board development and nonprofit board member recruitment, so it's one of the things I actually get excited to talk about.
And so just a little bit about myself down.
My name is Sabrina Walker Hernandes, I studied political science and public administration. I obtained a nonprofit management certification from Harvard Business School.
Um, and for the last 25 years, I've worked in the nonprofit sector, and direct services, operations, and executive leadership.
And I started out and ran an annual fundraising campaign with a great board for over 10 years, taking the organization's individual giving from zero to $80,000.
I successive successively planned and completed a $12 million capital campaign and 11% of those gifts were from individuals. And that really took a lot of board involvement.
And now I have a small nonprofit board and staff build relationships that convert into more donations would have focused on individual giving, and so is very important. If you're moving down this path and you want to expand your giving that you really engage your board. But before we get started, I have one bread and yes, I am going to add it to my PowerPoint. I am a best-selling author. This past weekend. I did a book with the Jack Canfield call Success and Omics and it went number one. So I'm adding that, you'll. Yes, I am, Gregg. I'm so excited about that, But I do want to know a little bit about you.
So if you could in a question, just tell me, know what your name is and where you're from, What area of the world are you joining us from today That I helped me have some idea about where everybody is from.
I always like to do that little check-in question, because we make the assumption that everybody stateside and that's not always the case. So, I do like to, to know what people are from.
So, if you could, in the chat, not in the chat, in the question, if you could let us know where you are from around the world, that would really be great.
Also, today, we're going to cover a couple of things, and I'm excited about what we're going to cover, we are going to cover.
We are going to be covering how to sequence your nonprofit board recruitment, how to identify your board gaps and factor in board diversity, in the recruitment process, how to develop a list of prospects, as well as how and where to find nonprofit board prospects, and what to include in the application process, and what to include in the board member recruitment process. So don't get overwhelmed.
You're like, Oh, my God, I don't have an application. Don't have an interview process. It's OK.
That's what you're here for.
You're here to learn.
So, as Angela says, well, you know better, You do better, and so thank you for showing up to today, so you can learn.
And so, nonprofit Board of directors, the people that are recruited to your board or directors, they're critical, they must ensure the advancement of your organization's mission right now and in the future.
So, you have to be strategic about your who you are targeting for your board because the board can make or break your nonprofit organization.
And as you recall, in the introductory slide, completing a $12 million capital campaign, no increase in the operating budget.
Based on individual giving, none of that would have been possible without the right nonprofit board members. Sabrina could not have done it alone, and so you need to have the right nonprofit board members on your side.
And so you have to be very strategic.
So how do you sequence your nonprofit board of directors recruitment process?
And I know we have an hour, so if I'm going too fast.
Let me know.
So step one, you would want to identify, you're going to do Board profiling, Step two is you're going to cultivate, you're going to recruit a pool of candidates for each scene that you have open. You're going to develop a list of prospects.
That means you're going to have a number of people vying hopefully for the position or positions that you have on your board.
And Step three, you're going to recruit.
That's the application process.
You're going to get to know them as they get to know you.
And so, I'm gonna go into those in some detail, because I really want you to embrace this concept.
And I know, it is so easy to say we have a board vacancy, we gotta get a warm body in there.
Know, oh, I know this girl, or I know this personally Sermon Chamber with me, what a sermon wrote it with me, or whatever social club, that's just bring them on board. That is so easy to do.
But you haven't, really, that's not being strategic.
You really are not being strategic, They, because they perform well in this arena, they're going to perform well in your arena.
Or you think that, um, no, because they're good here that they are going to, they'll be passionate about your mission. That might, that might not be the case. Or they might not have the skillset that you're looking for, the gap that you're looking for on your board right now.
You might have a gap.
You might need someone that's visionary. You might need someone that's strategic thinking.
You might need someone that's a consensus builder.
You have to know what you're looking for. So don't just put that warm body in there. I call that the bubble theory.
So, what I've been talking about is identifying those board gaps, knowing the board just should assess what characteristics and skills the current board brings to the organization, and what gaps exist on the board.
That needs to be felt when recruiting new board members, you know? Consider both the attributes and the skills of the prospective board members.
You have to remember that you should look for different skills and strengths from your nonprofit board members, depending on your stage of development and other circumstances. So you don't want to bore full of consensus, builder, build us because it's going to take you forever to get something done because they're going to want everybody to agree on the process.
That's just too much.
You don't want to, you want to make sure you have someone again.
This visionary, that's strategic.
Maybe someone that knows something about email marketing.
I'm someone that has some financial background.
Um, so the only way you're gonna figure that out is you're going to layout your current board, and you're going to say, OK, Sabrina's on the board, Sabrina knows a little bit. Sabrina has a fundraising background.
She's a strategic thinker, and she's a female, 50 plus, yes, Now Alabi, 51, my birthday, 50 plus, she's African American, and, you know, she has a nonprofit background.
She's in the nonprofit sector, so you will lay that all out for each of your nonprofit board members.
Then you look, do you say, OK? What gaps do I have?
Do I have someone from the medical field?
Do I have someone from the legal field?
Do I have someone that strategic? Do I have someone that's visionary? You know, you get the idea. Someone knows the same examples, and, you know, I keep repeating visionary strategic, because those are my two favorite characteristics for board members.
That's so much consensus builders.
That's because I'm very impatient.
And that's just the honest truth.
And so, and you also have to know yourself, as well.
And so, how do you continue to identify those board gaps? Just like I said, what is the current composition of your nonprofit board?
What characteristics, skills, and experiences and background does your board need? Now?
What gaps or your board need to feel in the future?
Maybe in the future, you do want to grow your operating budget and focus on individual giving. Maybe in the future, you do want to create an endowment. So you need someone who has investment, policy, nonprofit board governance experience, or maybe you do want to complete a capital campaign.
And so you need to think about the future as well.
What are some of the priorities for identifying and recruiting new members? What are your priorities?
Is that someone from marketing, is someone from finance, Maybe you need a good no financial process for your organization, And so you'll want to create you want to recruit a CPA on your board, or maybe you want to have Legal sounded might say. You don't want to pay an attorney at the time.
You have a question.
And so maybe you create someone from, you know, you recruit someone from the legal field.
And so then you have to think about what other attributes or qualities are important for your nonprofit board members to have?
Do you want a social butterfly?
Do you want someone of influence?
Do you want someone of affluence?
Those are the things that you and your nonprofit board have to think about during your nonprofit board member recruitment process, so please don't go in it with just the Bhabha theory.
Oh, there he again.
Is bringing on your friends, your family, or someone that you know, X, N, and Rotary with the last serve in a chamber where they do good over here? So they gotta do good on our board.
Don't do that.
Be very strategic.
And so, again, for new nonprofits, who do you get for your board, and I always like to separate the new nonprofit profits because, um, they have a different set of circumstances.
They need someone that has the program experts.
No, because they're just starting out.
Especially if you don't have a staff person, this person can help you with program design, management, and evaluation.
A person of influence, which is someone I just talked about, you know, um, that's that person that everybody knows. People respect and admire them.
They have great influence in their industry.
They have a great leadership track record, and they're willing to actively exercise their influence for your non-profit.
That is the key. They are willing to actively exercise their influence for your nonprofit. You don't pick them just because they have influence. They need to have an affinity for your mission.
They need to be Welly to exercise that influence.
You'll want to have someone that has online fundraising experience.
No, you need someone with a little bit of knowledge about nonprofit fundraising.
That's one of the most important aspects of board services. A Board service ensuring necessary resources.
That is one of the three primary roles of the board, So you need to have someone that can advocate for that fundraising aspect.
The more familiar they are with fund raising, the better they can understand the ins and outs of your operation. And also, they can support the ED or the founder in that journey, and bring other board members along in that process.
Because everybody, you say fundraising, and people get scared. They think fundraising is all about asking for money.
If you've ever heard any of my other presentations, fundraising is a whole process, and they ask, is only 5% of the fund raising process.
But people hear that fundraising, and they immediately go to that 5%. And so, you need someone that can explain, The fundraising really is about building relationships, and they have that familiarity with that 60%.
Fundraising is building relationships.
And so, you also, as a new board, a new nonprofit, you want to have someone that has some marketing and, or public relations experience.
Because you're new, and having an experience marketing professional or a graphic designer invested in your organization, and your mission can be critical.
Not only, they're gonna bring great value.
And, thinking through how you're going to build your organization's reputation and brand, they're going to think about branding.
They can also leverage their network of relationships to secure free expertise.
They can reach out to other professionals.
Incorporations, like banks, are auto dealerships.
Every body, every corporation, has some type of marketing person, and they have a network, and they can reach out to that network.
There's also different associations that you can't recruit marketing people from, like the American Advertising Federation, the Public Relations Society of America, or the American Marketing Association, but as a new non-profit and even an existing non-profit.
It's always great to have someone with the marketing background on your board, and as you advance, of course, you know, you need to look at other things.
You need to consider other things you need to really focus on no or diversity and turns in terms of skill and aptitude because this will help you create a structure for matching organizational needs with acceptable candidates.
Paul's one moment.
So again, there's various backgrounds and experiences that you can look at. That's been a quantified nonprofit board member.
Know, Doodad leadership skills.
Are they involved in the community?
Do the public recognize them?
Do they have political connections?
I always try to have someone with political connections on my board because of the town that I live in. And so you need to know if that's an important piece that you need to have on your nonprofit board.
Again, do they have fundraising capacity?
Do they have the shared values, A commitment? Remember I said, don't just go and pull someone because they do good in chamber or they do good and rotary, or whatever organization.
You'd say, OK, they do good over here. So let me just bring them onto my board. What is they don't like? My, my mission was youth, youth.
What if your mission is animals and animals is not their thing?
What if it's literacy and literacy is not new? They need to make sure they have the shared values and commitment.
And so, well, we're talking about nonprofit board diversity and really looking at that.
You need to make sure that your county for for diversity and board diversity we're talking about lots of things. We're talking about skills.
We're talking about aptitudes because you don't want a board that deals with a homogeneous board. They are going to deal with it just the way they deal with and everybody's going to deal with it. You know, just like I said. You don't want a board for the consensus builders, because you're not gonna get anything done.
And so you'll want to have a broader diversity of the way people think.
Because you're going to get some varying opinions.
You're gonna get some varying approaches.
You're gonna get some burying solutions.
It requires open-mindedness.
It requires you to have curiosity, acceptance, be responsive, and ultimately, it can facilitate understanding and willingness to work together.
This is, it's not the easiest way to force the group to make decisions.
But different or opposing backgrounds, different cultures, beliefs, habits, and norms can force a consensus-oriented approach to conflict management. I can tell you my own experience. I live in a place that is 97% Hispanic.
And, we still have Board diversity.
We had more diversity around age, We had more diversity around skill set.
We had board diversity around culture.
So, it is very possible to do that.
You just have to make sure that, when you are laying out those gaps that you're looking at, those things.
So, don't, don't have all your board members be, um, oh, don't like math.
Because, whereas the diversity and the diversity of thought you'll want to make sure you have some, Man, you wanna make sure you have some women. You want to make sure you have some different age groups. You want to make sure you have some different cultures. You want to make sure that people have different habits and attitudes, because that's going to take your organization to the next level.
Sometimes boards are expected to represent the organizations constituency.
This is a way to create accountability and form a link with the constituents.
So, what, really, what that means is some people bring a client onto the board, so that the client has a voice. So, you can consider that.
I did not necessarily have that on my board, but I know of some organizations that did it, and they said it really made a difference for them.
You have to look at that, determine what works best for your board.
Even if you're doing diversity for the sake of diversity, you still are going to get some innovation and some creative thinking.
And a diverse board sends a message and sets a powerful example for the tire organization.
So, there are some benefits to looking at nonprofit board diversity, and asking yourself those questions and making sure that you lay out, sure, current board, and account for diversity.
And I'm not just talking about race and ethnicity.
I'm talkin' about no thoughts, attitudes, beliefs, habits, culture, all of those things. How do they approach problems?
And laying that out and making sure that you think about that strategically.
And so, when we're going into that, um, you'll want to make sure at the, you know, layed out. Sure.
Gaps, do you know who you're looking for, You know, you know, I need a person that is visionary.
I need a person That's because of a consensus builder.
Whatever it is, the board members can start referring to potential prospects.
But when board members are out there, they should be able to articulate why they think the prospects will fit the organization's qualifications and criteria.
And then when the prospect is approach, the person recruiting them, they have to make clear the organization's expectations, and they need to make sure that they understand that they will be.
And the view.
and that there's more than one candidate for a board seat that you would like them to apply.
So, what does that conversation look like?
And I love this.
So I've seen Board members do this.
So, sometimes Board members will say, George, I'm on the XYZ Agency Board, will you consider ban on our board?
That's it. That's all the information.
Well, it needs to be a different approach and the language that needs to that needs to be said is, George, I'm on the XYZ agency board.
We're talking to several prospects for the board seat, even if you don't have seven prospects.
You're talking to several prospects for the board seat we have opened, and you've been mentioned as a great prospect.
Our recruitment process includes a few steps.
I include in an interview with the Board Development Committee, and would you consider putting in an application that approach, Scenario B, really gives a degree of control back to the board. There's nothing assumed. This person don't assume just because they apply, they're going to get on the board.
Um, it takes away all the guesswork.
They understand that they're competing for that slot like any other job, and they understand that a decision will be made. Whether they have, they are eventually invited to join the board.
And that, that decision is entirely up to the board.
So, I want to leave that slide up there just for a few minutes.
So, you can really see the difference in the power of that language.
Because, I can almost guarantee a lot of people are using scenario scenario a.
I don't want you to do that going forward, So make sure when you get the slides, you copy and paste that, and you let your Board members know this is the language that we're using moving forward.
And so here's another scenario.
That rarely happens, I've had it happen to me once and maybe a 20 year career.
And that is, when someone comes to you, and they want to be on your board, they're seeking out board membership.
It's a great feeling, But, you still have to go through the process.
You still have to go through the same process just because they're coming to you, and you're not seeking them out.
You still need to go through that same process of the application, the interview, all of that don't get excited, and just take them. Because, oh, my God, they're coming to us.
No, you need to still make sure that they fit what you need.
OK, so, I want you to understand that.
The other thing I want you to understand, and this one took me a little while to wrap my brain around, because I was taught, board membership is about S plus, S plus S, What is S?
I came home.
It's an exclusive process and so, I found it very hard to advertize for board members in the beginning, and now, I've gotten over it because, you know what?
How are people going to know you have board slots open, if you don't get the word out?
So, you need to get the word out.
You need to let people know that you're doing nonprofit board member recruitment.
You need to put it on LinkedIn.
You need to let if you are speaking at ...
Rotary's, Lyons chamber, you need to let people know that you're looking for good people who want to serve as a volunteer.
Or a Board member.
You need to network and you need to talk about those things, and you can advertize it in organization's newsletter on their website.
On LinkedIn, on our Dail lists, there's a number of sites where you can advertize board membership.
You can even host your own nonprofit board recruitment mixer, and I've had organizations do that as well. You know, you hold a mixer. in a restaurant, you put it out there. You know, we have some openings and if you're interested, come come here about what our organization is about and come learn our process for joining our board.
And so, you just go out there and you tell the world, that's what you're doing, and there's nothing wrong with it, and trust me, I had to wrap my brain around that.
Because again, when I first got in nonprofit, they were like, no, you don't want to seem desperate for board members. You want it, you want your board to be, you know, an exclusive board that everybody wants to serve. Also, know, is a process, which it is a process.
However, you people need to know when you have vacancies, and so all these things are good ways to let people know: You still have an application process, you still have an interview process. You still have all those things in place, You don't take those things away.
How and where do you find nonprofit board prospects?
Colleagues, Board members or other non-profits, the local media, chief professional officers, or CEOs, and other senior staff of organizations, current board members.
And as well as many other ways that I'm sure you can think of who you can ask and what makes a good Board member.
But remember, you're not saying we have open slot and we want to serve on a board. Know, we have several seats open. And we think he would make a great candidate. And we want you to apply for a position, an interview.
You can also look at current and prospective major donors, community leaders, chief professional officers of local and national corporations. Chief professional officer, is another way of saying a chief executive officer.
Owners of small businesses, individuals, and professional relate related to the organization's mission.
Those who have benefited from organization of services such as alumni.
If you have an organization where you have alumni, that could be a great pool for future board members of our board members, someone who's actually benefited from the program.
So start thinking about that.
You can also look at churches, synagogues, and other religious institutions.
You can look at trade, professional and fraternal organizations.
You can look at organizations representing various racial and ethnic groups such as fraternities and sororities.
You know, all of those different things, local colleges and universities.
Again, using technology to find board members posted on LinkedIn and posted it on idealist dot org, there are several sites where you can post your board needs.
But what is going to happen is you need to find the best people for your non-profit board.
You need to reach out to potential candidates in as many ways as possible, But when you reach out to them, you'll want to make sure what your needs are Very clear. You're going to say, we're looking for someone who is a visionary, who has a background in financial planning.
You're gonna be very specific about what you need, because you know what your gaps are, and we really can't rely on candidates to come, come.
Come to us, um, because you're going to miss out on some good people.
Guys, again, I apologize for this cough.
It is not called it though, but it is a backoff.
Again, how and where to find board prospects?
You gotta look in the community. You gotta look at you know, those movers and shakers. They are everywhere, those people of influence.
So look at those people, Um, those you call them commerce, people that are coming up, maybe they're young.
They're not fully recognized as leaders, but they're in the process of getting some of those leadership skills.
Yeah, they're not obvious leaders, but they have a lot of energy and a lot of skills.
They're emerging leaders or there are community, new commerce.
And when I say community newcomers, that's a good nonprofit board member. And I didn't say that, and I want to say this, because a lot of people don't think about that.
Somebody in the real estate industry, because they know who's coming in, they know the value of the home that's being, um, purchase.
They know why they're relocating and what type of job.
The person is going to have, and so, a real estate agent is a great potential board member.
They know who's building business plaza's, so they bring a lot to the table.
So, put a pin in that.
If you're Nelson Real Estate agents, they also make great board members, but you gotta make sure they have the skill set, and all the other attributes that you need, not just the industry representation.
So, how and what to include in the application process?
OK, so, the Board Development Committee, or, in some cases, people might call it the board nomination committee, or in some cases, it might be your board executive committee.
But the point is, if you have, I'm a group of people, maybe 2 or 3, who's going to set up one-on-one interviews with a potential applicant to answer any questions that they might have.
Know, the goal of the interview is to further determine if they are a fit for your organization, so that they can hit the ground running when they are appointed.
No, they should.
Potential applicants should have the opportunity to meet numerous organizations, leaders, to determine if there are a right fit.
So, I encourage people prior to comment on the vote on the board, Inviting them to a board meeting as a part of the process.
Um, this is also gonna give the Executive Director or the C O, some time to weigh in on that person.
By this stage, a potential candidate, we'll get this far: Would unlikely receive a no vote for the board, right?
Don't make a person go through all these steps and vote no.
It's going to create a bigger problems for you.
And you have to realize you've thoroughly vetted them for their passion for the mission.
Hmm, youth, OK, that sets their fit and you clarify expectation.
I will say, There is a such thing as going too far.
And I will say my organization.
one time, the pendulum swung very far.
So I will tell you what our nonprofit board recruitment process consist of. So that you know, if you're taking the pendulum too far.
So, we had people fill out a potential interest application.
That application, they had to first submit a potential interest application.
And then from there, we set up a meeting with them with the nomination committee.
And then from the nomination committee meeting, they had to attend a board meeting.
Then from the board meeting, they had to come and they had to volunteer at a program.
And then we decided if we were going to invite them in.
So, we just got, I guess a pendulum swung that far because no, like Mickey with you guys.
Sometimes you get frustrated because people, you think you've told them exactly what's needed on this board, and you still get people who come on your board because they're gonna run for office or come on your board because it's a name, you know, something on their resume.
And so we really were trying to weed out those people, but I think we realized that we swung the pendulum too far.
And so, we took some things out, so as now, it was application process coming to a board meeting.
I'm doing a board interview, application board interview. Come until board meeting, and then deciding if it's a fit or not, and the person has the right to say, you know, at that board meeting, I don't want to be on the board. You know, That's what they might say. They might come in and say that people don't want to borders that.
You know what I don't want to do, this is better that you know up front.
Then, once they get on the nonprofit board and you realize they don't come to meetings, you like, I wonder why they're not coming to meetings. Well, they didn't want to serve with the people that was on your board. So it's better to know that upfront than it is to get someone on your board and, again, impact your quorum, impact other board members morale.
And so it's OK, just don't, don't have the pendulum swing too far, which is what we learned in our process.
So you do have to, you test out different processes that's going to work for your organization, right? But you do need to have an interview process.
It can't be the bubble theory where, you know, Sabrina just goes to Janet and says, Janet, no I serve on this board, Come on over, it can't be that.
Because that's not strategic, that's not going to take your organization to the next level.
How and what to include in the, um, or application process.
You have to make sure, again, that you communicate ASAP with the potential applicant.
If there's some no or thumbs down, you have to approach it carefully because you don't know what's going to happen in the future, right. So, a good way to turn down someone for board membership.
It's A You know, the board development committee met last night and decide that we have some work to do before adding new members, can we keep your name on a list?
So, it takes the honest away from that person. It's not about you.
It's about our board. and we're just not ready right now, but, you know why? We want to keep your name on the list.
Do you see how that language is still respectful to the applicant?
But it also allows the organization to bow out gracefully And it's OK for you to say no to certain nonprofit board members if they don't fit the attitude perhaps that you want.
You know, there's some people who love to argue and maybe you don't want that on your board or maybe you already know.
So you have to, again, identify those gaps.
And knowing what you're looking for is the key to the nonprofit board recruitment process.
Putting the work in up front that is the key, and it's a little bit easier than you think.
you know, have a meeting with your board or send out a matrix.
And say, OK, here are the options: Checkoff.
What you think you bring to this or organization, and go from there and you'll have a profile about your board board members.
It's a thumbs up.
You gotta make sure.
You communicate the process to include the timeline and their point of contact for any questions.
That conversations just set the tone for how serious the board process. The board takes the process.
It will let new nonprofit board members know that their role and responsibilities are serious.
It's going to set a professional tone, and so, it's very critical that you set that professional tone up front, So, now that you've recruited your board member, you voted them onto the board.
What do you do next?
It's time to, you know, notify the elected board members of the results.
Schedule them for board orientation.
Don't skip the board orientation process, um, because as a part of leadership development, new board members, they need to be acquaint themselves thoroughly with the organization so they can speak intelligently about it.
And an orientation also helps you.
It helps you shorten the learning curve about the organization.
I've served on boards that did not provide an orientation and for a year, I sit there trying to figure out what the heck is going on.
Like, I don't know the history, People are talking to me, like, I know, like I was here, like, I don't, I don't have anything.
But, if you do a good board orientation where you know, you provide them with bylaws, you provide them with the operating budget, financial statements, copies of the last three approved board minutes, things of that nature, that's going to shorten their learning curve.
And so, people sometimes skip the board orientation, and then I get mad at their board members, because my board will help me fund raise on my board will help me do this on my board, won't help me do that.
When they're still trying to figure out what's going on, you haven't trained them, you haven't given them an orientation, your recruitment process was, Hey, come on, over here on our board.
And that's not professional. And that doesn't give them a heads up on how this board operates. It doesn't set a professional tone, and so they get there, and they don't know what to do. And CEOs or founders get mad because why do we need a board?
Know, they don't do anything, that'll help me. What is the reason why you have educated them? You haven't set the tone, and so this is very critical for you to do, to have an application process, to have an orientation, to have to know what your gaps are, All of these things are very important to set the right tone so you can take your organization to the next level.
You don't want to implement the bubble theory, and I'm going to keep talking about this bubble theory.
You don't want to implement the bubble theory, where you invite on family and friends and the good old boys and the good old gals.
You really want to vet the people that are coming on your board so that you are strategic about how your organization is going to move forward.
If you want to race lots of money, whether it's for a capital campaign, whether it's for your operating budget, whether it is for a specific program, you've got to have the right team around you. It is like, you know, I lost that football game, and I'm not a big sportsperson, but it's like putting together a great sports team.
You gotta have all the players in the right place and your board is critical in this process.
You've got to have the right players on your team.
So, it's not just the CEO or the founder, it is also the board. Your board is your force multiplier, and it's one of the biggest investments that you can meet. The take your organization to the next level.
So, you have to slow down, you have to map it out, and you have to be strategic in that process.
So I do want to talk about a couple of other things before we end. This is 2 45, and I'm supposed to leave a few minutes for question.
I just, this is what, during that interview process, when they are meeting with the board committee, founder, CEOs, hammer pocket, for that committee, And that packet should should have board expectation document, and the expectation document should talk about attending meetings.
It should talking about, it should talk about, talk about fund raising, It shouldn't talk about personal giving. It should talk about all those things that you're afraid to talk about, because you're like, Oh, my God, I don't want to scare them away, because we're going to be talking about fundraising.
During the interview process, you need to be very explicit about fundraising. They need to know what they're getting into.
But you also need to understand that 60% of fund raising, it's building relationships.
You need to have a job description.
You need to have an application, OK. So those are some things.
Give your board development committee. A packet will lease those three documents.
Some of the questions that could be, that should be asked during the interview process is, do they have the time to commit to the organization?
And what I've, out of all the boards that I served on and haven't been a CEO. I forget it takes about 120 hours a year to be a good board member.
You got to make sure they're attending meetings. You gotta have about 10 hours of advocacy or raising awareness for the organization.
18 hours of fluency, About 18 hours of reading.
Yes, you have to read your e-mails.
You have to read your board packets and respond to the e-mails.
eight hours of planning, again, 18 hours of fundraising, and 16 hours of becoming educated, tennant orientation, go into a conference, all of those things. So it comes out to about 120 hours.
You gotta talk to them about fundraising activities. You're going to ask them, can they give a minimum gift?
For us, it was $500.
Whatever it is for you.
Some organization, it's 15,000.
In some organizations, it's $50, Thomas 100, but whatever it is, you need to talk to them about it. in the interview process. It is their personal gift.
And then you're going to talk to them about, how much money can they?
so you're part of give.
They're giving the $500 or whatever amount that you say, and then they're going to get another amount.
For example, they could get $5000. That means they're going to help fund raising the $5000.
So, it's going to be again, and again.
And that discussion needs to be had, They don't need to be surprised on that, That needs to be talked about doing the recruitment process, right.
And, again, an orientation, If any, or all that, and they still want to be a part of your board, then you're halfway, you know, down the road, what a good board member and now you've just got to educate them.
Some other questions that you might want to ask is, know, you want to acquire some knowledge, or maybe not questions, but you want to acquire some knowledge of their community involvement.
And so, you're going to ask them to tell you about their community involvement, No!
You're going to ask them who their primary contacts are in the business community.
You gotta ask them, what could you contribute to the organization?
No, regarding some personal or business expertise, you gotta tell, ask them. you know, Tell me about what you perceive about our organization. Why do you want to serve on this board?
And you ask them, What do you expect from our organization?
It is good to know these things.
because you need to know why they're trying to get on your board.
Again, there's nothing more frustrating, then having someone on your board and do absolutely nothing, And you think you got through this process. And later, you found out there running for political office, and they just wanted to add it to their little flyer. Or, you know, they were doing it because their boss told them they had to do it. You know, ask these questions and try to be discerning and gathering that information.
Other things that you've got to ask about, is, you'll see their willingness to do committee work.
Ask them, what committees would they be interested in? Would they be interested in the Marketing Committee?
The planning committee, the fund raising Committee, the resource development committee, what expertise would they like to share with the organization?
And ask them, would they be willing to share a committee, because, ultimately, at the end of the day, your board is about time, talent, and treasure.
And so you have to keep that in mind.
for a board, they need to come to the table with all three time, talent, and treasure.
So, with that, I'm gonna check for the Q and A, and hopefully I do this right.
Guys, I really struggled a little bit through this presentation with the cough.
Thank you all so much for the space and Grace, I'm going to see if there's any questions here.
Hopefully, I know what I'm doing.
If not, let me know, and I can read them for you. Yes, if you could, that would be great and wonderful. So, let me see. Joanne asks, What are your thoughts on having another non-profit prison be on your board?
My thoughts are: Is it really fair to your organization?
Um, and this is why I asked that, I, several of several boards, but I will only serve on one fundraising board because I have limited resources and connections in the community.
And I don't want to be put in the position where I have to make a decision.
I'm about which organization I'm going to support at that moment.
And so, that's why I, I tend to stay away from it because it is almost a conflict of interests.
That's my answer. OK, perfect. Now Kate asks, We want a more radically diverse board. Can we ask people to describe your cultural background on our board nomination form? Or will we get, Will we get in trouble for this?
I've never asked about the cultural background on my board application. I've never asked that.
But, you know, that's where the interview process is, and that's where you get to meet them, and you get to have those discussions, and No, so I would not necessarily ask that question, but you can, you know, make a statement that you are seeking a wail round. That diverse board in all applicants are, invited to apply.
Wonderful! Kim asks, went too fast, and we are a new non-profit that will be large book recommendation.
Can you repeat that for me, please, So do you have a book recommendation for them, because the webinar went too fast, and they are, I apologize. A book recommendation.
Actually, I have a e-book that I did on nonprofit board recruitment and nonprofit governance that kinda lays this out.
Is it OK if I e-mail it to you and you share it with them?
Yeah, definitely, OK.
Wonderful, OK. Don't have a lot to get in there, Especially with me coughing in-between, I apologize. That's OK. Dunn asks, what do you consider a medical advisor role to be?
A medical advisory advisor? Yeah, correct. A medical advisor.
I'm unsure the question.
So I'm going to answer it the way I interpret it.
So, what I hear is, are you saying you're going to put together an advisory board that has medical professionals on it?
Is that, is that the question, or let's see if Don can can type in the questions box very quickly.
Um, Don, can you, can you please clarify?
Yeah, and I will say advisory boards agree.
Yes, I got the most out of advisory boards ever, because people love to give their opinions.
They might not want to serve on your board, because it takes 120 hours a year and they might not have that 120 hours, But they still want to have an impact on your organization.
And so, one of the solutions that I came up with with my board board was having a advisory board and we actually included it up in our bylaws.
And the advisory board meets once a quarter and we would take to them different things like we would take to them our strategic plan and get their input, our marketing plan, our resource development plan. And so, an advisory board is a great tool.
All right. So, she's clarifying. Yes, I am forming an advisory board for mission and fundraising, and because of our cause was like to have a medical advisor.
So, yes, Put the people that you need on that advisory board, and it might be people that are of great influence in the community or in the industry, who just don't have time.
But they are willing to meet once a quarter, and it's very, you're very strategic with their time.
My advisory board would meet for an hour and 30 minutes, and I had like eight advisors.
And each advisor would host the advisory board meeting either at their business. So, the organization did not have to incur any cost of feed or do anything like that.
Then, I would have out regular board member, come in and facilitate that meeting with the advisory Board, me, as the CEO there, to support that Board member.
But, really, it was the Board member who facilitated that advisory board meeting.
OK, great, so Linda asks, What should the written application form include beyond the personal contact details, wale, um, personal contact details, some of the things that we asked?
Whereas also, you know, what other areas in the community they were involved in, why did they want to serve on the board? What was there?
Why do I want to serve on a board?
What community activities they were involved in, what were they bring into the board? And we also asked their spouse name, we asked, you know, their birthday, we, I guess that's personal information, we asked their birthday.
We asked there anniversary. And the reason why we did that is, is because truly, we, we want board members to feel like family and so, you know, it was their birthday wisdom birthday card. It was their anniversary with an anniversary car.
We wanted to know who their spouse was, but basically keeping it to some very clear three questions, your top three most important question is not too long.
Sometimes, you know, when they fill out the application, it was quite OK for them to say, See attached resume.
So it's the same information you're trying to gather from a resume.
OK, wonderful. Mercedes is asking, when do you, when do you think it is the best time for a non-profit organization to start building a board at its infancy or within the first two years?
Oh, you should have a board when you apply for your 501 C 3 application.
IRS requires that you have a minimum of three Board members, and so I know a lot of people they just put down their mother, brother, and sister on the application for your 501 C 3.
And I have two schools of thought I know you're trying to get the 501 C 3, and you're trying to do it in a, you know, fast way.
However, once you get it, you need to really put some thought into who's going to be on your board right?
Upfront because that board membership is critical because you they are going to take your organization to the next level. Think about this. Your board is your force multiplier.
So, if you put your mother, your brother, and your friend on your board, right. They know the same people that you do, their circle is the same circle as yours.
So, you're going to run out of resources because all of you are going to be hitting hitting up, for lack of a better word, The same people, you need to have some board diversity.
You need to have someone that is from the medical field, the legal field, from different cultures, because their circles are different, and that is going to expand the footprint of your organization.
OK. We can do for more question, and that's it, guys, because we're, up to the closing point. So, let's, let's take a couple more seconds. If somebody needs to go, please log out, you will have access to the recording by tomorrow morning, so you won't miss a thing if you want to check the. Next question is from Jen. Do you have info on how to put together an advisory board?
Well, I would put together an advisory board pretty much the same way. I will put together a board of directors.
It's about really identify what gaps you're trying to feel with your advisory board. You know. I would always put the people.
I will always put the people on the advisory board that, man, if I could get them on my board, that would be awesome, but they just don't have time, or so many people hit them up.
But they are willing to serve as advisors, Um, so it's the same process.
OK, great. Anna asks, as as an organization we experienced a major transition about a year into development forum members for onboarding and ... and for left within the next few months do you have any insights to work through these ebbs and flows.
There's always going to be ebbs and flows. I'm just gonna warn you on that.
You're never going to have a, well, I can say this, I had a board of 21.
And most time, I, it's always a goal to hit that 21.
Most time I had about 15 board members because people move, their job duties change.
For whatever reason, they, they transition off the board.
So, out of 21 may be at maximum, I have a half, a 15.
But, what sets that apart is having a pool of applicants. So, you should always continually be looking for potential board members.
Even if all your slots are a fool, you should always potentially be looking for board members. So that you have a pool that you can pick from.
That's kinda been vet, vet it through the process, but don't get discouraged.
Like I said, I know on my roster is at 21, but I, I'm going to be honest with you, I think the most I had was 70, and most of the time was around 15 board members.
OK, great, thank you.
OK, Dan asks, Our organization has a formal requirement that our board members vote for a new board member and anyone quote unquote, can submit their name and a description of why they want to be considered thoughts into new ... in the new executive director managing this existing protocol?
OK so, I think I understand your bylaws, but your bylaws says that the board has to vote someone on.
So your bylaws dictate how you bring on someone to your board and you can always amend your bylaws.
Now you have to follow the amendment process as dictated by the bylaws.
So if you're if you're not happy with the way people are voted onto your board, you can amend your bylaws as long as you follow the process.
OK, Dan, is that, Do you want to type in, if that was an answer to your question, or do you want to clarify your question a little more? OK, he says, Actually the membership votes for new board members.
OK, so, I'm on a board like that with a membership vote. but, again, we amend that I bylaws.
So that is not the membership vote is actually a board vote because what started to happen was, know, your membership ebbs and flows each year. And depending on how your bylaws read, you gotta have, like, so many members present or you have to have, you know, a percentage or so.
And sometimes it was just two and cumbersome.
They hit the criteria.
And so we amended the bylaws to say it was the board who voted on board members.
OK, another question comes from Francisco. And and do you have time to stick around a couple more seconds? And a lot of more questions are coming in are really good. I got about five more minutes, OK. Let's go with two. Then Francisco asks, when is a good time to restructure your board?
Very beginning, I would like to say at the very beginning, when you're filling out your 501 C 3 application, as I said before. But I understand you in the process of just trying to get your 501 C 3. So you might pick a low hanging fruit, tell me they submitted their children like 5, 6 and 7 as their board members. Which that is too low of a hanging fruit.
I'm like, OK, your kids can't help you fundraise, so I say you get your 501 C 3. I understand you might have put those names and quickly, so you can get your IRS paperwork. I don't recommend that.
Once you, once that happens, you need to really focus on who your board is and get the right people on your board.
I came here, children cannot help you raise money. They certainly can. OK, Let's see, last question is from Richard, and he asks we are developing individual advisors essentially professionals to serve under Revillon committee relevant committee. I'm sorry, we don't want an advisory board as That requires care and feeding and They won't be needing to meet as a board.
We are using committee work one Zoom meeting a month to vet for a board invitation Thoughts I think that's a good process is very similar to something that I do on a board that I serve on. We do Task Force. So, we do, like, so, we just developed a marketing plan, but it wasn't on board that developed.
The marketing plan was one board member contact, and we actually reached out to different marketing people in our community and asked them to serve on that task force.
And through that process, they helped us develop the marketing plan, but it also gave us an opportunity to see how they work, and to see if they will make great potential Board, Apple applicants. Again, it's about building relationships, and the best governance practices. And so you t become familiar with the organization. They helped develop a tool that the organization needs and is not a cold request. You get to decide in sand their work if an invitation to be extended or not know if they can't show up for task force meeting, and usually task force, no, is 3 to 4 meetings consecutively. once a month for a four-month engagement perhaps. And if they don't have time to show up for that, then, you know, they really don't have the time to serve on your board of directors. So it's a great process too.
Create a pool or eliminate people from service.
Perfect, thank you so much, Sabrina. This was an amazing CharityHowTo free online course. Thanks, everyone, for joining us today. Please make sure to complete the survey that will pop up once we close this webinar. Just so you know it's anonymous. It'll take you NaN to complete and it will help us improve our content. So, we appreciate you taking that survey. And that's it, I guess, have a wonderful rest of your day. Please stay safe and healthy, and we hope to see you again on another charity, how to webinar. Thanks, everyone. Have a great day.