Best Practices for the 21st Century Non Profit Organization Boards

Non Profit organizations boards serve two vital roles of offering support and governance. While board members are not directly involved in the day today running of the organizations, they are the torch bearers. Unfortunately, many non profits do no have an elaborate structure of hiring and engaging with the board.

General guidelines for recruiting board members

In preparation for recruiting new members to a non profit’s board, it is important for the existing board members to analyze their vision, mission and goals, strategic plan and determine the gaps.

After determining the organization’s need, they should then establish the skills set and characteristics required to fill the gap. Those specifics are translated to a job description that will be used to advertise for the position. Organizations must avoid falling into the trap of advertising for the position without a clearly defined job description.

The next step is to identify potential members. While some organizations use a formal application form for assessment, others prefer to bring the potential candidate on board as a volunteer or as a team member working on specific task. The former gives both the candidate and organization staff a chance to test whether they are a good fit.

Incorporating millennials

Millennials, are particularly overlooked not only in nonprofit organizations boards but also other corporations. Yet, this demographic group has a lot to bring on the table. They are anxious to bring change, they technologically savvy and add a fresh perspective to issues. Since they form the largest part of the world’s population and have a longer projected lifespan, they are bound to influence global culture and organizations.

There is a misconception that most millennials do not want to serve in a board or are not fit to serve on boards. Contrary to the believe, there are a good number that are eager to join boards and add value to institutions. Organizations can find potential millennial board room candidates from their volunteers, clients or donors, via social media (those that follow the organization), advertisements or referrals. Preferably, the candidate should already have an interest in your organization.

Getting millennials on board is not enough. Other board members must get millennial ready especially if most of them are older.  Do not underestimate them. Give them equal leadership opportunities and responsibilities as other board members. Be open to engage with them. Incorporate millennial friendly technology in your board meetings such as videoconferencing.

Duties and responsibilities of Non profit Board members

Generally, the duties and responsibilities of non profits board members are

  • Advocating for the organization
  • Fundraising
  • Hiring and assessing CEO
  • Overseeing adherence to federal laws and state regulation
  • Strategic planning and management
  • Safeguarding organization’s assets and resources
  • Formulating and upholding the organization’s vision, mission and goal
  • Help in improving and upholding a good public image of the organization.

Building a responsible and strong board for non profit organizations is a deliberate process. Board members drive the organization. Therefore, proper structures and procedures should be put in place to ensure the right people are hired for the job. Jobs in Waterford descriptions should be clear and stipulate each board member’s responsibilities so as to enable them fulfill their duties and roles well.


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