You may be looking to get fresh ideas, networking, resources on your board or avoiding “yes” members you know already.  You don’t want to be too disruptive by filling the board with people you do not know, but adding a the right new member from outside the board can reinvigorate the entire team.

Before looking online, have a profile complete with how a new member can help your non profit plus a position description agreed upon by the board (they need to be as involved as possible as they are the ones that have to work with them for years). Also, give your board some time to make their own nominations and scour your non profits network. If you still can’t find a suitable candidate, you may be able to find the perfect person online in one of these ways.

LinkedIn

LinkedIn has their own non profit section, complete with a partnership with Board Source on finding new board members. They have an excellent free webinar on how to find board members. It is a very searchable and professional database. You may want to build out your page on LinkedIn first.

Idealist

A vast network of passionate people and organizations, it is well worth listing your opening here. You can also post job and other volunteer oppurtunities as well

Boardnet USA

The site is specifically dedicated to helping non profits find board members. They have a number of great resources available as well. It is free to sign up and they currently have 12,000 candidates.

Volunteer Match

The majority of postings here are not for board members, but it is a huge network and you can certainly post a listing looking for a board member here. They have a free basic account, but you can also go premium if you want to take your experience on the site to the next level.

 

Your own social media and email list
This should not be your primary method of finding candidates – think carefully on how much you want to promote your search and expand the search, but perhaps there is someone in your non profit’s network already. Sometimes all it takes is a tweet that you are accepting board applicants to get one of your volunteers thinking that they themselves or their friend might be a great addition to the board.

Conclusion

If you write a quality listing, don’t be ashamed to post the same description in as many places as possible. Make sure you have a quality description that both inspires potential candidates and sets clear expectations to weed out those who are not serious.You should have a good vetting process as well, complete with interviews. Board members can have a lot of influence for a long time (on that not make sure they at least have a sabbatical every few years!), so take it seriously and choose wisely.

Pro tip – If you do have a section about your board on your website, it doesn’t hurt to add an inquiry email form on becoming a board member.

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