How to Choose the Right Board Member

The selection of the ideal board member is an important step in creating your business structure. The board of directors is the face of your business and the actions of the board members can have a significant impact on the work you do. If a board is difficult to reach, doesn’t attend meetings or isn’t in align with your values or the rest of the board, it could be time to be replaced.

A board member who is a good fit shares the mission of your organization. Having passion for the issues your nonprofit addresses will keep them committed to serving long after the initial excitement of becoming a board member has diminished. They should also have some degree of organizational or business competence and be aware of the principles of good business practices.

You should look for people with diverse races, ages, backgrounds, skills, and experiences to fill your board. This will fill your board with diversity and allow you to present diverse perspectives to your leaders. Board members should also be willing to play the devil’s advocate role and challenge assumptions even if the assumptions are based on their own personal experiences.

Ask potential board members to give you an estimate of how much time they are willing to devote to the work of your board as well as the work of its committees. Many who express an interest to join a board underestimate the commitment required and might not be able the role effectively. When vetting them ensure that you are aware of other commitments that could hinder their ability to serve on your board.

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