Coyle Consulting Co. LLC
Non-profits will remain very not-profitable with the wrong Board members. With the right Board members, a non-profit will achieve its mission and do it with financial strength.
What makes for a bad choice for a Board member?
“John Doe just gave a large check to the non-profit. People don’t know him but, wow, let’s get him on the Board.”
“Sally Smith is new in town and we’ve heard she likes our work. Let’s grab her before some other agency does.”
“Harry Jones is a great guy. He won’t make waves. Let’s elect him.”
“We need somebody from a bank. Mary Johnson works at First National. Let’s go after her.”
All are typical comments of a nominating committee. The results will most likely be failures.
Being on a non-profit Board should be a privilege. It should be a prize sought for the right reason — to improve the mission of the agency — and not for personal gain. Selection of the right Board members, then, is one of the top responsibilities of current Board members.
Criticized for recruiting former opponents to help him run the country, Abraham Lincoln replied, “Well, when a man builds a cabinet, he always picks the best wood.” Board selection likewise should pick the best wood.
1. Make the process clear and controlled to your present Board. No wild card invitations.
2. Look for people who have already shown commitment to your cause. Maybe they donated or served on an event committee or volunteered with your clients, whatever, look first for that existing commitment.
3. Bring those names to your nominating committee or your Board chair to get agreement on the top prospects.
4. Recruit those top prospects not to be on the Board right away; instead, recruit them to be on key Board committees. Make sure they understand how important their efforts, including financial contributions, will be to the agency.
5. Make their tenure on the Board committee a worthwhile one. At the same time, evaluate their commitment and effort. Do they attend all meetings? If not, do they call ahead? Do they follow up on committee work? Do they participate and contribute while at a meeting?
6. After that first year, select the best of the prospects and bring them to the Board for approval. Once the Board has approved those nominations, two Board members should together recruit the prospects. Don’t soft pedal the Board’s expectations of its members: Be clear about what you need from the prospects.
7. Once elected, give the new members a solid orientation. That should include the non-profit’s bylaws, audited financials, contact information for other Board members and the CEO, information on meeting formats, policies and procedures, and minutes of the last two meetings.
8. Then help the new members make a real contribution to the mission of the non-profit. After all, that’s why they’re there.
via Lorne Coyle Ministry http://ift.tt/1fZhqFh