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Any advice on finding volunteer board members for non profit?

I am in the process of starting a non profit organization. I am having the toughest time locating volunteer board members. Any suggestions on any sites I can go to?

13 Replies

John Seiffer
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John Seiffer Advisor
Business Advisor to growing companies
I don't know what type of non profit you're talking about but in most cases, the most critical job of non profit board members is to raise money for the cause. I don't know that you'll find people passionate enough to do that on any sites - but if you can it would be sites related to your cause. Better solution would be to find people who are willing to work with you to accomplish your non profit's goals and when you find one with enough time, smarts, connections etc ask them to be a board member.

If you find it hard to find or connect with people passionate about what you're doing, there's learning there too.
Stephen G. Barr
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Stephen G. Barr Advisor
Professional Ski Instructor, USSA Masters Racer, Advisor @ World Pro Ski Tour
I highly recommend


or

http://www.boardsource.org
Sonali Agrawal
0
0
Sonali Agrawal Entrepreneur
Founder at For A Cause - Helping Hands for Innovative Design
volunteermatch.org, taprootplus.org, catchafire.org/ ,are some places where I usually look for volunteer design opportunities.
Min. Bob Cutting
1
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Min. Bob Cutting Entrepreneur
Evangelist at Insight Ministries Inc.
The above ideas are great. You have to look for people of similar passion. I can tell you that lawyers, CPA's etc, are taught to join in some community activities such as non-profits. I have done some video/TV myself and formed a non-profit religious corporation.
Pamela Sealy- McKenzie
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Pamela Sealy- McKenzie Entrepreneur
Digital Video Coordinator
Since looking for board members, I feell like I am just spinning my wheels and at times it feels discouraging. Thank you for giving me my second wind!
Julie Trell
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Julie Trell Entrepreneur
Consultant: Corporate Philanthropy, Enterprising Educator, Creative THNKr, Door Opener, Light Bulb Turner-On
LinkedIn has a feature to put out request for board positions. Also check out boardsourcehttps://www.boardsource.orgrg as well as your lock Volunteer Center who often host Board Match events.http://thevolunteercenter.net/?The_Board_Match
Andrew Chapman
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Andrew Chapman Entrepreneur • Advisor
Publishing Entrepreneur and Author
John Seiffer's advice follows my experience. I was passed the presidency of a small non-profit of which I'd been a member. The past president, who was the founder, was the only board member (aside from another in name only). It was nearly impossible to find people who would jump straight to board member; the only person I could recruit was a close friend/colleague. But the two of us alone built the association from a dozen members to around 35 over a couple years, at which point we had enough "juice" to attract another board member. With that person's help and connections, we again tripled membership, at which point it was fairly easy to find board candidates, both from our membership and following.

I think a lot of people are reluctant to join boards because of the time commitment and potential politics. Conversely, it seems too many people who are quick to join boards are bad candidates because their motivations center more around their own power than contribution and cooperation. It's a tricky balance. So, from my experience and observation, there's a critical mass in your membership, following, and impact that you need to reach before you'll attract board members. Not saying you can't before that, but it involves a lot of networking, time, and outreach.

Lastly, don't be so eager to get board members that you take whomever comes your way. It's hard to be selective when you have few options - but in the long run, you'll be better off being choosy. Too hastily accepting a less-than-ideal candidate can create a mess that ends up being even more difficult.
Michelle Hoexum
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Michelle Hoexum Entrepreneur
principal at propeller
Try Catch a Fire Michelle Hoexum [removed to protect privacy]
Susan Philip
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Susan Philip Advisor
Healthcare Management Consultant at Milliman, Inc.
Board Source provides ways to match volunteer board members with nonprofit organizations. LinkedIn is a partner: Check out: https://www.boardsource.org/eweb/dynamicpage.aspx?webcode=Board-Posting-and-Matching-Programs
Nanette McGuinness
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Nanette McGuinness Entrepreneur
Soprano, Voice Teacher, Co-Director of Ensemble for These Times (formerly Jewish Music & Poetry Project)
Compass Point (compasspoint.org) and the Foundation Center (foundationcenter.org) have classes, handouts, and advice on this. Compass Point, particularly, devotes a good deal of its coaching and training to non-profit governance. You may well not find your volunteers there, but you might well find out HOW to find good volunteers there and how to structure your board and keep your volunteers engaged and happy.
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