The board of directors of a nonprofit exists to ensure that management stays focused on the charitable mission and manages funds effectively. It also exists to recruit members whose networks can produce relationships that lead to strategic fundraising fulfillment. These are the people who will not only evangelize for our mission but can attract new donors and partners in the future. Four assets these super-connecting, super-effective individuals should possess to make the greatest impact on our organization include:
Passion. Do his/her interests align with the mission of the organization in a tangible way? Does he/she come from a related field, or has he/she supported similar missions in the past?
Thought leader status. Is this recruit a trusted, high-level decision-maker in his/her professional life?Is he/she a go-to in terms of subject matter expertise or strategy?
Network presence. Does he/she actively engage with other high-level individuals—peers, friends, fans—who might be tapped for support later on?
Nonprofit experience. Has he/she previously worked with nonprofits in a capacity beyond financial support? Has he/she held board positions or led partnerships, again, making connection with like-minded individuals?
The Good Samaritan Foundation seeks board members with qualities that will help its board function better:
- Wisdom and judgment that results from lots of experience
- Passion for our cause
- Experience in development (i.e., fundraising)
- Willingness to commit time for board meetings, committee meetings, planning sessions, special events
- Team player - works well in a group
- Someone who listens well, is thoughtful in considering issues
- Courage of convictions, as well as the courage to face up to hard truths and to make tough calls when the answer isn’t always obvious and when there are considerable consequences if the call is wrong.
- Entrepreneurial spirit
- History of success
- Communication skills
- High energy
- Faith matters