Monday, March 12, 2012

Eight Best Practices for Recruiting New Board Members

Have you ever served on a board when a prospect was nominated for board service because he was a friend of a friend of someone’s Cousin Eddie? Not prudent. Not smart. Not God-honoring!

You can avoid board room mismatches by reflecting on these eight best practices in the Recruitment Phase, one of four phases in recruiting and engaging new board members. Can you give an unqualified “YES” to each statement below?

#1. We have board-approved written criteria and qualifications for board nominees.
#2. Compared to the due diligence our senior leaders exercise when hiring staff, our board also exercises a high level of due diligence when discerning a board prospect’s suitability for board service.
#3. We have an up-to-date “Board Nominee Orientation Notebook” that is used in preliminary briefing meetings with board prospects.
#4. We have a “Board Member Annual Affirmation Statement” (or similar document) that summarizes the roles and responsibilities of board members, including future board meeting dates—and the board member’s affirmation that he or she will be in attendance.
#5. With crystal clarity, we explain the three distinct hats of board service: 1) The Governance Hat, 2) The Volunteer Hat (optional and based on strengths and spiritual gifts; unrelated to the governance hat), and 3) The Participant Hat (board member attendance requirements at events, fundraising dinners, etc.).
#6. We are also crystal clear about a board member’s charitable giving expectations (if any).
#7. We go slow and rely on the 18- to 36-month cultivation process by encouraging potential prospects to serve in key volunteer roles to assess their diligence and faithfulness.
#8. We check references religiously, including a board prospect’s pastor, small group leader, employer and/or employees and friends.

Remember, in the Recruitment Phase we’re “dating” a board prospect—and we don’t propose marriage on the first date!

Question: What other statement would characterize a best practice in the Recruitment Phase of Christ-honoring board recruitment?

No comments:

Post a Comment