How to Find a Nonprofit Board Position ?

The good governance of the nonprofit organization inextricably links the interests of the organization with the interests of the community. In this article, we will consider the basic aspects of the personnel policy and provide basic recommendations to find a board position.

The role of the management board in the nonprofit governance

The difference between the nonprofit organization (NPO) and a business structure is that it is created not to make a profit for the owners of the organization or stakeholders but in the interests of the community or its members. Simply put, the mission of an NPO is what it does in these very interests. The mission is usually closely related to the values ​​of the organization – for example, the desire to save the environment or help the poor. The mission and values ​​inspire and involve people in the work of the organization, helping to focus its goals and activities. Description of the mission of an NPO, as a rule, is an integral part of the founding documents of the organization. One of the main responsibilities of the board is to define, articulate the mission of the organization, make sure the organization follows that mission, and promote it in the community.

A broad target audience requires an unusually high degree of transparency from NGOs. The privilege of raising and using public money means that an organization must honestly and accurately show how it works. This does not mean at all that the organization should present itself in an ideal form – it will still not be possible to hide the existing shortcomings.

Personnel policy in the nonprofit board

Most boards believe that rotating members has its advantages and disadvantages. The weak side is the decreased inefficiency. Board members need to make great efforts to find mutual understanding and act as a team. And if this team has developed, then the appearance of new members or the departure of old ones upsets the balance. Moreover, finding a worthy replacement can seem like an impossible task for the government: all the best people are snapped up and already busy, and those with a lot of free time are unlikely to be able to do anything.

In light of this, it is understandable why, in most NPO boards, board members do not change for years. On the other hand, there are many benefits to rotating. New people are new opportunities and resources, they save the board from possible stagnation and open doors for NPOs to new communities. Recognizing these benefits, more and more NPOs are introducing regular rotation of board members. Getting the right people on the board takes a lot of effort, and your organization should see it as an ongoing process.

The recommendations for attracting new board members

Difficulty attracting new board members is perhaps the biggest obstacle to building an effective board. Of course, it happens that the choice is really impossibly small. But another reason lies in the fact that most NPOs believe that the best board members are famous people.

Here are a few tips to help put together a first-class board.

  • Choose people for their qualifications, not just prestige.
  • First, define the board’s role in your organization, then recruit people.
  • Reach out to the business community. In most NPOs, the board consists of representatives of other similar NPOs.
  • Engage creatively. A well-thought-out strategy to attract people to your organization can be beneficial.