How to Choose the Right Board Member for Your Organization

A solid board of directors is essential for a well-run company or nonprofit. A board member should bring a broad range of skills, perspectives and experience to the table in order to make decisions that are strategic and plan. They should also be a skilled speaker who can remain in touch between meetings and take an active role in fundraising, networking and other critical duties.

You should consider a range of independent candidates who are acquainted with your field and who share your mission and vision. These could include trusted mentors, attorneys, CPAs, fellow entrepreneurs as well as venture capitalists, marketing professionals, educators, and financial experts. It is important to have board members with prior board experience.

During the vetting process, be sure that the candidate is truly interested and willing to commit to becoming a board member. It’s a big commitment and might not be a good person for all.

You should also know what other commitments they have in their lives, and be realistic about the amount of time they will be able to devote to the board. A board that is not performing or too busy is not productive.

It is preferential to have an even number of board members rather than an imbalanced one to prevent ties. There must be sufficient board members to guarantee quorum, but also to be able to receive good advice without being overwhelmed by the number of voices.

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