Creating a Better NonProfit Board

Every Board member wants to add value to the organization they love and every Board wants to function at top form. There are ways to help prevent problems and to create a new, involved and dynamic Board.

It will take 3 years (if that is your org’s term of office) until you will possibly have a great Board.

Examine this form and make changes so it represents exactly what your Board needs. Add specific skills and leadership needs that your organization has. Then print out enough copies for each current Board member and ask the Board chair, Nominating Chair and/or organization CEO/ED to sit together and complete a form for each member; you are trying to determine what strengths and what holes the Board has. Be honest.

Then add when each Board member will rotate off the Board and create a grid of name, class year, skills and talents; you will be able to view when you are going to lose certain folks/skills. This will help the Nominating Committee determine what skills need to be recruited and when they need to be in place. Pretty simple, right?

Here are the two catches:

First – you must live up to your side of the bargain by being organized enough to list the dates of the meetings and major  events, and by preparing board minutes, agendas and packets well ahead of time so people have the chance of attending meetings prepared to participate. YOU must complete your side of the covenant before you can expect others to fulfill theirs.

Second –  this takes patience, time and a commitment on everyone’s part to change behaviors. Leadership is critical to being a GREAT Board and that includes holding people accountable for all the missed meetings, the meetings they attended and paid more attention to their smart technologies than to the discussion…..

Not everyone is meant to be a Board member. Some folks are simply great donors or ambassadors or well-known and well-beloved people; that does NOT make them good, faithful, consistent Board members.

SAMPLE Board Member Nomination Form

Please submit to the Nominating Committee Chair at any time.

Candidate Background Information                                            Date





Telephone Numbers:


Email address:


Work info:


Family/Spouse info:


Community Volunteer Activities:




Memberships, Offices held:



Contributions to Our Organization:

Being considered for Membership 20XX-2XXX

end of page 1++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

Nominating Information Continued:

Areas of Expertise Candidate Brings to Our Org:

  • o Budget/Accounting                                                o Planning
  • o Government Affairs/Lobbying                             o Contacts
  • o Public Speaking                                                       o Corporate Contacts
  • o Planned Giving/Estate Giving                             o Legal Expertise
  • o Fund Raising/Asking for help                              o Attends our Events
  • o Public Relations/Marketing                                 o Personnel/Human Relations
  • o Organizing Events                                                   o Training/Meeting Facilitation
  • o Fund Raising Research                                          o Communications/Media Relations
  • o Facilities/Buildings/Grounds/Gardens              o Clear and Concise speaker
  • o Developer/Builder                                                  o Board Leadership/Experience
  • o Business Expertise                                                  o XXXXX skills
  • o Motivator                                                                  o Time
  • o Leader                                                                        o Ability to give $
  • oVisionary                                                                    o

Are there areas in which you know s/he does not want to be involved?

Are there areas in which s/he would like to gain expertise?

Please describe in as much detail as possible the contribution you feel this individual might make toward the ongoing success and health of our Board:

Nominating Director’s Name:________________________________________________________________

and BEST Telephone Number  day_________________________________ eve__________________________________

end of page 2 ++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

Add What a Board Member can expect of the Our Org Board

  • Your time will be valued
  • We will start and end meetings on time
  • We will honor your passions and encourage your personal growth while serving on the Board
  •  You will receive prep materials in plenty of time to read them
  •  We will coach you in how to read a profit and loss statement and Our Org’s budget
  •  You will receive a card good for 25% your purchases in our store
  • Annual Board retreat
  • Up to $100 towards your continuing education opportunities
  •  Annual Board recognition/thank you luncheon

Include a list of 20XX Board meetings, place and times; major events; subcommittee dates…

What Our Org Expects from Our Board members:

Add the list of Board Responsibilities including serving on at least on active committee and making a significant (to the donor) financial gift annually

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