Board and volunteer recruitment and retention are essential to any nonprofit organization. Board members and volunteers can make or break a nonprofit organization. The goal is for these individuals to make – NOT break. In a five-part series, I am honored to share with you my top five tips for recruiting and retaining high-performing board members and volunteers.
My first tip is to develop clear expectations and responsibilities.
Following are key points to keep in mind:
- Before you can recruit high-performing board members and volunteers, nonprofit organizations must have written and clear expectations and responsibilities.
- These expectations and responsibilities should be embraced by the executive director, the nonprofit organization’s officers and the full board.
- Ideally, the full board should vote on these expectations and responsibilities to add credibility to the process.
- If you have clear expectations and responsibilities and you discuss them regularly, board members and volunteers cannot say they were unaware of them.
- Here are examples of expectations of board members and volunteers:
- Participate in determining annual fundraising priorities
- Provide oversight to the management of investments and disbursements of Foundation accounts
- Represent and promote the organization in the community
- Make an annual charitable contribution to the nonprofit organization
- Serve on at least one standing committee
- Attend four out of six board meetings per year
- Attend at least one special event each year
- Introduce at least three new donors to the nonprofit organization each year
- Recommend individuals for possible membership on the nonprofit organization’s board
- Sign conflict of interest and confidentiality policy statements annually
I recommend that you:
- Post board members expectations and responsibilities onto your nonprofit organization’s website
- Share the website link with individuals when they email, call or write to you
- Use a website address that is easy to remember (yourorganization.org/recruitboard)
- Identify potential high-performing board members by reading articles, reviewing the board membership lists of other nonprofits, issuing news releases about board vacancies and asking for recommendations from well-respected business and community leaders.
- Review your list of stakeholders (students, alumni and donors, etc.) to identify potential high-performing board members and volunteers.
What strategies would you like to share?