Board Recruitment Plan: How to Build an Effective Board of Directors

By |Published On: November 14, 2022|
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An association’s internal affairs depend on a diverse board of directors, but building an effective board of directors can be challenging. It’s helpful to partner with an experienced association management company (AMC) because it’s important to recruit the best board members possible! 

An AMC can ensure your association has a successful membership recruitment plan and another effective recruitment board plan of directors to guide you through the hiring process. 

When your association is ready to recruit a new board of directors, where do you begin? 

Generally speaking, networking is a great place to start. By networking, you can gather intel and build contacts in your association’s industry.

What Does the Board Member Recruitment Process Involve?

A well-organized board member recruitment process is key to your association’s success. When you enlist innovative leaders, you’re more likely to reach your business goals and exceed expectations. Board recruitment best practices for any industry encourage partnering with an experienced AMC.

To improve how your association recruits board members, try the following these tips:

  • Decide what your association needs from its board of directors. 
  • Clearly define board members’ roles and responsibilities. 
  • Define how you want the board of directors to manage your association.
  • Choose qualified candidates. 
  • Directly discuss the opportunity with those candidates. 

[Related: Management Change in Associations]

What Are the Benefits of a Board Recruitment Plan?

To recruit the best board candidates, you need to incorporate a board recruitment plan to guide your association through the process. An organized strategy helps you focus on where to find candidates and measure the effectiveness of the board recruitment plan. 

Be sure to establish a timeline with specific milestones to evaluate the board recruitment process. It’s also essential to specify your association’s mission and goals in the board recruitment plan.

These helpful steps are a great place to get started:

  1. Create a detailed job description for the available positions. 
  2. Share this list with the resources you’ll use to promote the position with potential candidates. 
  3. Schedule and hold interviews with your top choices. 
  4. Make your final decisions carefully. 

[Related: Creating an Effective Nominating Process for Your Association]

Discover How To Recruit a Diverse Board of Directors

Why is it essential for your association to recruit a diverse board of directors? Diversity empowers your association management and creates a strong foundation for success. 

Moreover, a diverse board of directors guides your association to reach goals with fresh perspectives.

With help from your AMC, here are a few tips on how to recruit a diverse board: 

  • Communicate with your donors and volunteers using a personalized survey. The survey might ask how they feel about diversity and what kind of characteristics are important.
  • Ask for referrals from your teams.
  • Promote the available positions on multiple sites, including LinkedIn, Indeed and job boards. 
  • Look for candidates with different backgrounds, skill sets, ages, locations and experience levels. 
  • Research qualified candidates’ accomplishments, interests and references. 
  • Explain your association’s expectations in detail
  • Ask well-thought-out questions during the interview process. 

Among many other benefits, diversity in any working environment ensures your association fairly represents different religions, races, genders, disabilities, sexual orientations and personal beliefs. A diverse board of directors makes great leaders for quality associations or nonprofit organizations. 

[Related: 20 Mantras Great Leaders Live By]

Board Room

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Is the Nonprofit Board Recruitment Process Different? 

Francisco Lugovina, vice chairman of the Bronx Museum of Arts,  shares with The New York Times that it’s rather difficult to find directors for nonprofit groups. 

”Some people worry about personal liability, although insurance covers that,” Lugovina explains. ”The other issue is that lots of nonprofits do not have clear direction about their mission. Potential directors are busy people who want to do good work but don’t want to waste time.”

In comparison to associations, most nonprofit organizations must get the entire board’s approval before making any major changes. For example, nonprofits require a unanimous decision when choosing new directors. If the board doesn’t agree with the chosen candidates, it might add a voting process to the nonprofit board recruitment process. 

Learn How To Recruit Board Members for a Nonprofit Organization

To attract the ideal candidates, it’s helpful to know exactly what you want from potential directors. The key is to find leaders with trustworthy character traits, such as knowledge, motivation, patience, persistence and experience.

Nonprofits, associations and businesses have slight differences in the board recruitment process. The nonprofit board member recruitment process includes a few additional steps, such as asking for the board’s approval and input on the final candidates. 

Here are six fundamental steps for recruiting and selecting board members for nonprofit organizations: 

  1. Choose specific characteristics you want for your board of directors.
  2. Define detailed descriptions and titles for the available positions. 
  3. Contact qualified applicants to schedule interviews. 
  4. Narrow down the best candidates for your association. 
  5. Make an informed decision after researching and interviewing candidates. 
  6. Offer an orientation after induction to set expectations and educate new directors.

Once you choose your final candidates, it’s standard to perform reference and background checks. Research your top candidates’ profiles on social media platforms, such as LinkedIn and Facebook. 

[Related: Top Ten Reasons to Select CM Services As Your AMC]

Why Choose CM Services As Your AMC?

Since 1977, CM Services has grown into a successful and experienced second-generation AMC. We have the experience to guide you with an innovative board recruitment plan, and we’ll help you successfully manage your association or nonprofit board recruitment process. 

We’ll ensure your board of directors meets and exceeds your association’s needs. 

At CM Services, we manage associations and nonprofit organizations with exceptional leadership and attention to detail. We also offer incredible management services: 

Choose an AMC like CM Services to receive valuable resources, support and guidance. We’re here to help you build an empowered board of directors.

Please feel free to contact us today. You can also reach President and Head Coach Rick Church at or (630) 858-7337


Featured image via Unsplash

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