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Recruiting Competent Board Members
Source: Philanthropy Journal  ·  Aug. 10, 2012  ·  Excerpt

In our recent Philanthropy Journal poll about recruiting board members, respondents indicated that they frequently face challenges in recruiting competent volunteers to their board. The economic downturn the country has been dealing with for more than five years has made it even more challenging for more than a third of the respondents to recruit competent board members. At a time when nonprofits need skilled and dedicated volunteers to help make the strategic decisions necessary to navigate difficult financial times such leaders appear to our survey respondents to be in short supply.

The main challenge that emerged from our poll, as one Philanthropy Journal reader summed it up, is: "Finding those committed to fulfilling ALL the duties associated with the position."

Many volunteers are drawn to serve on a nonprofit's board because of a deep connection and commitment to the organization's mission and may be unaware of the business side of nonprofits. In particular, they may care deeply about their nonprofit's mission, but either do not want to or do not know how to help raise the financial resources necessary to sustain the organization in its work to accomplish its mission.

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Our take
Board members can be invaluable assets to nonprofit organizations. This article in particular suggests that board member selection hinges on much more than a person's previous charitable efforts or professional connections: they must have a thorough understanding of the organization's mission and clear expectations of their role in fulfilling that mission.

Compass Pointe can help answer these and other questions:

  • What is the advisory or support structure of your current board of directors? Do board members have a clear understanding of your expectations, and how do they feel about communication overall?
  • What is the best way to research, cultivate and select board member prospects? What qualities are consistent with productive board members and how can they be found?
  • Contact Compass Pointe now


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