“Leadership is not about a title or a designation. It’s about impact, influence and inspiration. Impact involves getting results; influence is about spreading the passion you have for your work; and you have to inspire teammates and customers.” – Robin S. Sharma
Successful nonprofits have a board of directors made up of strong leaders—people who have a passion for the organization’s mission and know how to get things done. One of the most important decisions a nonprofit founder will make is deciding who to put on the board of directors.
Lucky for you, we have experience and know the best way to build a great board.
1. Follow the Law
State laws determine the minimum number of members a nonprofit board of directors must have, and the IRS suggests having no fewer than three members on the board of a nonprofit. The IRS has also regulated that at least 51% of a public charity’s board of directors must be unrelated. The law varies depending on how your organization is set up and where you operate, so check the specific rules for your situation.
2. Set Expectations
Prepare a list of duties you expect board members to perform. Be sure to include things like the number of meetings per year, time dedicated to organization work each month, term length, and responsibilities—such as organization planning or fundraising—they’ll be expected to work on. Discuss this list with potential board members to ensure they are comfortable with the commitment before offering them a position on the board.
3. Seek Passionate Directors With Relevant Expertise
Find board members who are passionate about your nonprofit’s mission and can meet your major needs. For example, if you need help with fundraising, recruit board members who have the ability to raise money. Make sure you have a diverse board that brings different skill sets to the table, whether it’s a close connection to the local community or a shared background with the individuals you serve. Running a board of directors can be challenging, so it’s also a good idea to have board members who have experience serving on other boards as well.
Developing a board of directors can be one of the most difficult and time-consuming aspects of starting a nonprofit, but taking the time to get it right will set your organization up with a strong base of leadership for years to come.
To get help forming your nonprofit, reach out to schedule a consultation with a member of our Customer Success team today!