Board members are critical to the success of any organization. Building a board is a lot like putting together a puzzle. You are looking for people with various different gifts and abilities to make this puzzle be complete and work well together. Let’s look into several traits that make them “ideal”.
First, a person must have passion for the organization. This person must care deeply, be passionate about the purpose of your organization or you will find that their membership is not very valuable. For example, if you’re looking for a school board member you would want to look for someone who has children in the school or maybe has had students there in the past. This person must feel your organization is a worthwhile cause. That will keep them engaged long term.
A person must have time to seriously commit to your organization. They must treat it somewhat like a job in order for the membership to be a benefit. School board meetings are often held on the weekends or in the evenings, so other obligations must be reviewed to know that this person has the time for board membership responsibilities.
To best serve your organization, a person must have experience in leadership. Your board will govern your school/organization and therefore must have the expertise to make wise decisions. Boards are respected by members of the organization when it is comprised of those who have experience and knowledge relevant to the nonprofit.
Communication is a vital part of any successful organization. An ideal board member must be able to communicate effectively with other members as well as the staff of the organization. To be well connected in the community where they network daily either personally or professionally is so helpful to any nonprofit.
Putting someone on your board is a big deal. Make sure that you do you due diligence before you ask them to participate.
Click the link below to watch a case study of an organization that turned everything around.