11 Creative Ways to Look for New Board Members

Posted on July 12, 2009 by  
Filed under Recruit Orient · Tagged: ,

Many nonprofit boards are so busy that they neglect to do a professional job recruiting new board members.  This critical task is not as difficult as you may think if you assign the task to your Board Development Committee, focus on the skills you need to round out your board, and start your search early. 

Here are 11 creative ways to look for new board members for your organization:

  1. Post your board openings on volunteer web sites.
  2. Post your board openings on your organization’s web site.
  3. Talk to ex-board members to solicit their suggestions for new board members.
  4. Put an ad in the newspaper – or in your newsletter.
  5. Create a continuous pool of board candidates from your volunteers and committee members who are not already on your board. These two groups can become your “feeder team” for new board members.
  6. Post a sign in your lobby and give your Board Development Chair’s contact information.
  7. Send out an e-mail to your members with the qualifications you’re seeking.
  8. Contact the Human Resources department of local lawyer and attorney offices asking if any of their partners or employees has a particular interest in your clients and the programs you offer.
  9. Contact a college or university department that coincides with your organization’s mission.  Ask the Administrative person to e-mail your request for new board members around or post it in the department offices. 
  10. Create a system to follow-up on every promising lead for new board members.
  11. Ask your major donors to attend a lunch meeting to brainstorm for potential board members who meet this year’s search criteria.

Remember, not everyone is interested in being on a board.  If your search turns up people who could become enthusiastic advocates of your organization but they don’t want to join a board, perhaps they could join a board committee or work on one of your events.