Business Strategy

3 Things Non Profit Boards Need to Consider Before Bringing on New Directors

board of directors

In order to fulfill strategic company goals, every entity needs a well-rounded board that is capable of taking on any number of challenges.

This is particularly important when dealing with a nonprofit board where every board member has the vital role of being an advocate for the nonprofit and its mission.  The need to cultivate, identify and nurture a strong nonprofit board, is an ongoing challenge.

Some entities find asking potential board candidates to first serve on a committee or task force (or volunteer in another way) as a good way for both the nonprofit and potential board member to determine a good fit.

Whether going this route, or recruiting directly from the outside, there are a few key points that all nonprofits should think about:

  1. What does your nonprofit need to advance its mission right now and in the future:

  • A board member with certain professional expertise (i.e.  Healthcare consulting experience)
  • A board member that has community connections
  • A board member that has a vested interest in the nonprofit  (i.e. someone with a family member that benefits from the nonprofits services)
  1. What kind of level of commitment and engagement are you looking for from your new board members?

  • Are you willing to sacrifice participation in committees and meetings for a candidate’s network and connections?
  1. Lastly, create a task force to identify and screen new potential members:

  • This task force should include 1 or 2 C-suite executives from the nonprofit as well as a few current board members.
  • This team should be responsible for vetting for cultural fit and genuine philanthropic interest.
  • They should also make sure that each candidates profile and skills are aligned with what the nonprofit needs to advance its mission.

Every board has a culture that is defined by its customs, traditions and practices.  Serving on a charitable nonprofit board requires being an advocate for the mission, ensuring prudent use of the assets, making decisions that are in the best interest of the organization, and looking ahead to help plan for the future.

Because of this unique and vital combination of qualities, the challenging task of building out a board may require the help of an outside entity.  This raises the additional challenge of finding a recruitment partner that truly understands the nonprofit and the board.  Whether leveraging the existing Boards network or hiring a recruitment partner to help bring on new board members, using the aforementioned key points will help to ensure the nonprofit stays on track with bringing on the right individuals.

Want to learn how Ivy Exec finds the right Board Members for non profits? Email Sara Farkas,, for more info.

About the Author

Sara Farkas is a Director at Ivy Exec, in New York. Helping to drive Ivy Exec’s mission to be a partner and trusted advisor to our clients, Sara leads our Global team in consulting on recruiting, compensation analysis, and industry intelligence. Focusing on the Company’s Consulting and Financial Services clients, Sara advises on searches that range from mid-level to c-suite/partner level.