How To Choose The Right Board Members For NGO

how to choose right members for your ngo

For the success of your non-profit organization, choosing the right board members is the key. The leaders you choose today will be responsible for making big decisions and for that, they need to be competent and decisive. In this article, you’ll know How To Choose The Right Board Members For NGO

As their effectiveness determines the smooth functioning of your organization, the recruitment process of the board member should be planned strategically. In this article, we will show you a few tips on how to choose the right board member for your nonprofit organization.

 

Who Are The Board Members?

The National Council of Nonprofits defines board members of an NGO as “the fiduciaries who steer the organization towards a sustainable future by adopting sound, ethical, and legal governance and financial management policies, as well as by making sure the nonprofit organisation has adequate resources to advance its mission.”

A board member must know his fiscal, legal, and ethical responsibilities. 

Generally, an NGO has 10 to 15 board members consisting of a Chair of the board, Vice-Chairman, Secretary, Treasurer, and other important board members. The length of the board member varies depending on the organization but is usually 1 to 3 years. 

How To Choose The Right Board Members For NGO

Skills Required For A Board Member For An NGO 

Following are some of the skills that every NGO board member must possess –

  • Communication skills
  • Decision-making skills
  • Fundraising skills
  • Open-mindedness
  • Problem-solving skills
  • Forward-thinking
  • Financial management skills
  • Public speaking skills
  • Interpersonal skills
  • Teamwork
  • Leadership skills
  • Empathy and passion for the cause
  • Willingness to learn

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Roles And Responsibilities of NGO Board Members

Following are some of the roles and responsibilities of board members of NGOs-

  • Monitoring financial activity to match the budget.
  • Establishing the mission of the organization.
  • Recruiting and overseeing the Executive Director or CEO.
  • Participating in fundraising to raise money for resources.
  • Ensuring that the NGO operates with the laws that govern it at the local, state, and national levels.
  • Taking charge of both short-term and long-term strategic planning while taking into consideration the mission of the nonprofit as well as the needs of the community.
  • Hiring new board members when the terms of the existing board members end.
  • Become an advocate for the nonprofit organisation.
  •  Ensuring that the organization’s activities advance its mission.
  • Addressing and handling conflicts of interest.

 

How To Choose The Right Board Members For Your NGO

1 . Form a nominating committee

Find a group of people you trust and who have the capability of assessing the right skills in potential board members. 

2. Determine the size of the board 

First off, you need to determine just how large your board will be. As we have mentioned earlier, most organisations have 10-15 board members. Bear in mind that this also depends on how old your organisation is. Although experts suggest that having 13-17 board members work best for a nonprofit organisation, if you are in your formative months, start small.

3. Research and prepare

Do your research and homework thoroughly regarding the type of person you want to represent your nonprofit organization. Make a list of what their roles and responsibilities would be and draft a job description. Write down the terms and conditions, such as how long a board member should serve or under which conditions he/she can resign before the term ends or be removed from the organisation. 

4. Identify your organization’s needs

You are going to help and advise the board members in areas such as financial management, fundraising, legality, and marketing, among others. Choose members who have expertise in such fields. Take each potential board member’s skills and designation into consideration.

5. Look for people who are passionate about the cause

At the end of the day, it all boils down to the success of the mission. You will have to find scout people who share the same sentiments as you do about the subject matter of your nonprofit organisation. A person who shares the same passion as you will be more committed and determined that the mission is a success. 

6. Take diversity into consideration

Recruiting diverse board members will strengthen your board. A nonprofit organisation for the LBBTQ COMMUNITY shouldn’t be run by an all-male board. You will have to take into consideration race, gender, religion, professions, etc when looking for a new board member. 

7. Spread the words

This is where social media platforms such as LinkedIn and Facebook come to the rescue. Let people know that you’re looking for board members by creating job postings. You can also spread the word through your volunteers, family, friends, people in your church or at work, etc. 

8. Utilising online tools

Websites such as VolunteerMatch and Taproot Foundation are where you will be able to scout young talents and  find a potential board member. 

Important Questions To Ask Potential Board Members

  1. What do you know about us and our mission?
  2. Why are you interested in our community?
  3. What role do you see yourself playing on the board?
  4. Can you share your experience with our community?
  5. How much of your time will you be able to contribute?
  6. Can you share some of your fundraising experiences with us?
  7. What connections or contacts can you contribute?
  8. What are your expectations from the organization?

FAQs

Q1. How many board members should a nonprofit have?

According to experts, having 13-17 board members work best for a nonprofit organisation. 

Q2. Why do nonprofits need board members?

Board members are required in a nonprofit organization for several reasons such as –

  • Firstly, To monitor financial activity to match the budget.
  • Secondly, To establish the mission of the organization.
  • And Thirdly, To recruit and oversee the Executive Director or CEO.
  • Fourthly, To help in fundraising to raise money for resources.
  • To ensure that the NGO operates with the laws that govern it at the local, state, and national levels.
  • And To take charge of both short-term and long-term strategic planning while simultaneously taking into consideration the mission of the nonprofit organisation as well as the needs of the community.
  • To recruit new board members when the terms of the existing board members end.
  • And To be an advocate for the nonprofit organisation.
  • To make sure that the organization’s activities advance its mission.
  • To address and handle conflicts of interest.

Q3. What are the “Don’ts” of board members?

Following are some of the “Don’ts” of board members-

  1. Get paid.
  2. Do something in the name of the organization without consulting other board members.
  3. Be on the same board with a family member.
  4. Playing politics.
  5. Ask staff or volunteers to do you favors without the executive director’s knowledge. 

We hope the above information helps you in finding the best board members for your nonprofit organization. To advance your career in non profit you need an advanced degree such as a masters in community development or a masters in urban planning. Several institutes also provide scholarships via programs like peace corps coverdell fellows to deserving employees.