Criteria for Board Member Candidate Consideration

David A. Mersky imageEvery Board Member’s Responsibility

As I wrote last month in Identifying Potential Board Members for Your Nonprofit, every board member should play an important role in introducing prospective board members to the nonprofit and cultivating their interest in it. It may take as long as several years to cultivate certain board candidates and interest them in the organization. Each board member should cast a net far and wide to identify appropriate board candidates, not only for the sake of the nonprofit, but also to provide opportunities for leadership experience to a variety of individuals of different backgrounds, ages, and talents.

What is the criteria for board member candidate consideration to keep in mind?

    1. Suitability
      1. Will he/she fulfill an important role on the board?
      2. Does he/she possess a degree of competence and experience needed on the board?
      3. Is he/she in a position of influence with others who are important to the success of the organization?  Is he/she likely to use that influence?
    2. General Preparation
      1. Does he/she have a basic understanding of the problems, plans and potential for the organization?
      2. Is he/she well versed in the organization’s history, mission and vision and is he/she prepared to stay on top of relevant trends?
      3. Does he/she understand the roles and responsibilities of board members?
    3. Specific Preparation for Action
      1. Will he/she come fully prepared for board meetings?
      2. Will he/she completely read all relevant background materials prior to meetings?
      3. Is he/she inclined to ask probing and insightful questions at board meetings?
      4. Will he/she conduct outside research to enhance the work of the board?
    4. Ambassadorship
      1. Will he/she be able to accurately, enthusiastically and often speak on behalf of the organization?
      2. Will he/she use personal contacts on behalf of the organization?
    5. Resource Development Participation
      1. Is he/she willing to make a significant gift?
      2. Will he/she identify donor prospects?
      3. Will he/she willingly solicit gifts?
    6. Community Activity
      1. Will he/she serve actively on at least one board committee?
      2. Will he/she suggest new ways of enhancing/growing the organization?
    7. Attendance at Board and Committee Meetings
      1. Will he/she commit to attending regularly scheduled meetings?

NEXT MONTH: Cultivating and Recruiting Candidates

LAST MONTH: Identifying Potential Board Members for Your Nonprofit