Successful board successon

The process of finding, recruiting, selecting and installing new board members is perhaps the most important function of a board.

Assess your board's performance in this area by asking whether you've:

  • Identified what qualities and skills your board needs now?

  • Examined your organisation's strategic plan to ascertain what qualities and skills your board will need in the future?

  • Decided how your board could better reflect the diversity of your members/clients/community?

  • Considered setting up a recruitment or governance committee to oversee the task of filling board vacancies – and to keep on top of the process throughout the year?
    • Cast your net wide in conducting your search for potential members, looking at:
    • People already associated with your group (members, donors, etc.)?
    • People associated with existing, retiring or past board members, committee members, staff or volunteers?
    • People with interests that correspond with your group's aims?
    • Local community or business leaders?
    • People with appropriate skills who could fulfill your needs for greater diversity?
    • Professionals with skills you require?
    • People serving on board advisory committees?
    • People serving on other boards?
  • Spread the word that you are looking for new board members?
  • Scanned newspapers and other media for stories about people who might suit your group?
  • Checked women's registers and the Board Matching Service for possible candidates?
  • Built a "prospect list", including information about potential board members' contact details and specific skills?
  • Invited prospects to become involved in your group?
  • Made a selection based on who can best serve your group's mission and future directions, and who can best provide the skills and expertise your group needs?
  • Put in place and enacted screening procedures for potential board members?
  • Thought carefully about your "pitch" before approaching potential candidates, taking into account your needs and those of the prospect?
  • Adhered to the processes and procedures outlined in your organisation's constitution or rules in nominating and installing new board members?
  • Followed up approvals by confirming the appointment and congratulating the new member?

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