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Board Recruitment: The First-Date Approach

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Let’s talk about board of director development and why we suggest you invite a board member candidate to first join a committee.

Who you invite to join your board of directors is so important! A non-profit organization’s board of directors provides assurance to stakeholders and the public that your organization is in capable hands. Their role is to assure that you can be trusted to do what you say you are going to do, that you will achieve your goals, and that you are operating in an ethical, inclusive, and transparent manner.

Having both a recruitment and a succession plan in place are integral elements in board development. A policy needs to be in place, and it must include determining the term of office, and a fulsome orientation plan. Thoughtful cultivation of board members will increase the chances of having a strong, effective board of directors. 

This is why we are recommending the following board recruitment tactic: we think you should invite a board member candidate to first join a committee. 

A powerful maneuver in building a strong board is to have a “first date” approach. Invite each of your candidates to first join the organization as an external member of a committee or task force. As a participating task force member, it encourages them to become well acquainted with your organization’s mission, vision, and strategic goals, as well as how your board operates. 

In turn, it gives you a chance to see them in action, how they contribute, and a good indication of how they will perform on your board. 

As they become more involved with the organization, they will become more invested in its success and sustainability. The result will be a strong, engaged, and active board of directors who are true ambassadors who sincerely support the incredible staff doing the work. Your organization will have a much greater impact and achieve more in your community.

Putting time and effort into developing your governance model and policies are integral steps as you work to achieve your mission. 

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