How to Appoint a Board For Your Nonprofit – Where To Start

Nonprofit organizations cannot function effectively without assembling a competent board. Small organizations are likely to have one person responsible for this humongous task, whereas bigger organizations normally have what is termed, “board development committees”.

Tweet this: Appointing a board for your nonprofit will not be as simple as filling the vacant seats of a movie theatre.

Describe roles clearly

Where should you start when you want to appoint a competent board? The best place to start is with preparing a well-written job description.

The description should contain the following steps:

  • Outline all the duties and responsibilities of each board member,
  • Mention a set of skills,
  • Mention experience
  • State the qualifications required for each incumbent.

The description should answer these questions:

  • What authority should each board member possess?
  • What are the general responsibilities each will have?
  • How long are they expected to serve?
  • What are the legal implications of taking on this role?
  • Are there any financial expectations? (e.g., are board members expected to raise funds, provide sponsorships, etc?)
  • What will the role be in the organization’s finances?

Are you ready to select a new board?

tricks-to-choose-right-supplierAppointing a board for your nonprofit will not be as simple as filling the vacant seats of a movie theatre. The process takes several weeks or even months to complete. To do your selection process well, you will have to be prepared. Plan the process properly, and make sure those involved are fully briefed. It is important that they know what is expected of them.

You’re not ready unless you’ve prepared interview questions for potential board members. This can be easily done collaborating with team members and a little bit of research. Consider each suggested question carefully and adopt only those you consider relevant.

What should be the size of your board? This will pretty much depend on the size of your organization. What’s more, the board should have a sufficient variety of skills that will help your organization to function efficiently.

Now that you have your questions ready, let’s move to advertising the opening. Design an advert and distribute it on social platforms like LinkedIn. You can also post it on one of the following platforms:

How do you know a potential board member is a fit? A good candidate will possess the following:

A passion for your cause

All your board members should have a passion for the cause. Their passion coupled with skills are key to the overall performance of the organization. Passion is the fuel needed for the board to work as a collective team and ensure that all organization’s policies are adhered to. Make sure you select those that have either worked for a similar cause in the past or emotionally attached to the organization’s mission.

Share your organization’s mission

A suitable member should be someone who understands your mission very well. The mission of your organization is what you are working towards and now you’re selecting people who will help you realize it.

A solid understanding of finance

Suitable board members don’t need to be accountants but they should have a solid knowledge of how to read financial statements. They should also be responsible individuals with a good track record in handling donated funds.


A suitable board member is someone committed to the cause. This extends beyond attending monthly meetings. It is their commitment to do good without expecting any compensation that drives them.

They should have time to serve

Board members should make time to address the organization’s issues and work through until a solution is found. When an urgent meeting is called, they should always be available.  

Are you considering new board members? What are your challenges so far?

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