How to Recruit a Fundraising Board
One of the biggest woes of a nonprofit leader, aside from the endless fundraising circuit, is an ineffective board, particularly when it comes to fundraising. But you cannot just recruit a bunch of warm bodies to your board and then assume that they will magically bring money in the door. If you want your board to effectively contribute to the financial engine, you have to start from the beginning. And that is to recruit a money-raising board.
In order to assemble an army of volunteer money raisers, advocates, ambassadors for your nonprofit, you have to get strategic. You must move away from scarcity-based board recruitment where you beg people to fill vacant holes on your board and instead create a recruitment strategy that identifies the right people with the right skills, experience and networks who will become your partners in bringing more money in the door.
And that strategy looks like this:
Connect your strategic plan to your board
Start by taking a look at your long-term strategic plan, and ask the simple question, "What skills, experience or networks do we need on our board to make each goal of our strategic plan a reality?"
Don't think in broad terms like "fundraising" or "marketing." Rather think very specifically about target audiences you want to access, new networks of people you want to find and specific skills that your strategic plan requires. A childhood literacy nonprofit probably needs board members who have key connections to local school districts, possess education-related expertise or can talk intelligently about smart program design.
Recruit for specific needs
Once you identify what skills, experience and networks your board must possess, test that list against what your current board has in order to find holes. Those holes become the very specific types of people you want to recruit.