Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Recruit Your Board of Directors

As I’ve mentioned before, there is a logical process that should be taken before embarking on the journey of becoming the owner of a nonprofit.  If done properly, you will be on the road to a successful nonprofit endeavor.

In an earlier post, I discussed the benefits of developing a realistic business plan, which will dictate the operational processes of your nonprofit business.  I also discussed the idea of knowing the purpose of your business – i.e. Who will be served, what will be served, and are these services beneficial to your community?

Form a Board of Directors

The next step in the process is to recruit qualified members of your community to assist in determining the needs of your organization.  Unfortunately, in my experience, many start-up organizations create their Board of Directors using people they can influence.  This is definitely not the way to go if your goal is to grow a successful nonprofit business. 

The key word here is “qualified”.  Since the Board of Directors’ main goal is to ensure that appropriate decisions are made on behalf of the organization, it is in your best interest to choose board members who bring a variety of qualifications and experiences.  For example, I believe that every organization should have an accountant, or someone who can interpret financial data on its board of directors.  This usually prevents surprises in the future.  I also suggest having a member of the board who has experience in whatever service is being offered by your organization.  This will provide more credibility to your organization.

Ultimately, it is your decision who you select to be a member of your organization’s Board of Directors.  However, forming your board of directors should require careful thought.  Recruit your board of directors based on what you want to accomplish.  Consider the skills and qualities that fit your organization’s needs.  Then, identify those individuals who meet those needs, and who support the vision of your organization.  As you can imagine, this is not an easy process.  However, if you put in the time and effort in the beginning, you will avoid conflicts in the future.

So, step #3 when starting a nonprofit organization is to recruit qualified Board Members.

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