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Posted on March 27, 2017 at 8:23 AM by Josh Yaworski
Board recruitment is a task that many boards hastily attend to before their annual general meeting. These well-intentioned board members want to give board recruitment a good attempt, but soon their attention is turned toward other pressing tasks. Then, it becomes a hurry scurry to gather nominations.
It’s the current board’s responsibility to replenish itself. Often, a nominating committee is struck to deal with the impending board vacancies. Or, there is a standing nominating committee to seek out potential board members year round. Other boards await forthcoming nominations from the floor during the nominations process at the AGM. Regardless of the approach, board seats need to be filled.
Replenishing the board is an exciting time! It is a time of renewal and an opportunity to vary the board’s composition. A blend of seasoned and newer board members seems to be a good mix. Where can newer board members be found? It depends. If you are recruiting for specific skills to enhance the board, then you will seek out individuals who possess those certain skills. Yet, it is good to recruit other people who aren’t walking billboards of what they are capable of. For example, it could be a pleasant surprise to vote in a board member who not only rises to the challenge but reveals they are full of other talents and experiences. People are full of surprises.
Does your organization have a board orientation manual? This could be in the form of a binder that includes information, such as a mission statement with values and beliefs; organizational history; previous year’s reports and financial audit; board structure with role descriptions; bylaws; policies; insurance coverage for board members, brochures or promotional materials, and any other relevant information deemed fit.
If your non-profit organization has paid staff, then they should be sensitive to the use of volunteers as a resource. Organizations should value volunteer involvement and support the volunteers in their efforts. Additional training for staff may be necessary. Once volunteers have agreed to take on roles, you will want to keep them, so give thought to how everyone can work toward and support the organization’s mission.
Ultimately, recruiting for the board is a critical task. Remember, you are essentially "selling" a long-term relationship, so speak of the commitment in a positive nature. No registered non-profit can legally exist without a board of directors. Should one be curious about the role of the executive, then visit the Alberta Culture and Tourism website. Also, there is an online tutorial for volunteers who are new to board service.