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Nonprofit Corner: Recruiting an Ideal Board of Directors

When recruiting new board members, it is very important to make sure you have all aspects of your community represented. We recommend a board of 8 to 10 active members, serving 2 consecutive 3 year terms, with the option of rolling on to the Advisory Council at the end of their second term.

What to think about when recruiting new board members:

  • What skills are we currently lacking on our board, or in our staff?

  • What is the potential sphere of influence of the recommended person?

  • Will they donate their time, treasure and talent to the agency?

  • What portion of the community do they represent?

  • Do we already have someone on the board who fills 3 of the 4 requirements?

Important Notes:

  • You should always have a participant or parent/guardian of a participant serving on your board.

  • You should ensure you have an equal balance of men and women serving.

  • It is important to have a board member from each decade of life serving. (20s, 30s, 40s, etc).

  • It is important your board accurately reflects the ethnic, cultural and racial makeup of your clients and/or the community you serve.

  • Do you have equal representation of all minority groups on your board?

  • Do you have an employee from each major employer on your board?

A note on sphere of influence

Sphere of influence is the people a person knows well enough to either ask for money or invite to an event. Therefore, it is imperative to ensure each board member brings a different sphere of influence with them. This is just one of the many reasons why it is never a good idea to have family members or relatives serving on the same board. If you find yourself in the position where several family members want to help, appoint them to committees. Committees do not need to be made up of board members, and it is recommended they are not, as this lightens the workload.

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