Alice Korngold, contributing writer for Fast Company Magazine is blogging about building nonprofit boards, one of my favorite topics. I loved her post titled More Bad News for Nonprofit $$: More About Building Better Boards to FIx This,
She takes a much-needed business person’s approach to nonprofit boards. Here’s my favorite: she says that the best people she has worked with, or recruited to a board were “key revenue problem-solvers.”
Nonprofits need to evaluate their business model frequently for missed revenue opportunities and sources of increased earned income. A board member with the right skill set can be invaluable in these cases.
She cites as an example a new board member who was the global pricing strategist for a major consulting firm. The new board member “pulled a nonprofit out of the red by helping them revise their pricing strategy, thereby shifting the organization into financial health.”
She cites another example of the right kind of board member – an individual who is active in politics and has governmental contacts. This person can help protect or help gain legislative appropriations or governmental grants.
Or she recommends seeking new board members who have business connections who can “leverage corporate partnerships.”
Clearly recruiting the right new board members is key, key, key to an organization’s future. As Ms. Korngold comments, it’s so important to enlist board members who have relevant experience and who can understand your organization’s challenges and opportunities. It’s up to us to determine what experience and expertise we need on our board, and then go after people who fit that model.
What does it take to enlist outstanding board members who can be “revenue problem solvers?” (don’t you just love that description!)
I believe in planning far, far ahead and targeting potential board members years ahead of time. You just have to take the time to carefully, deliberately decide who you need on the board. If you take the time to get to know them and let them get to know you, then you’ll be able to enlist the right leadership that your board needs and deserves.