There are some organizations, such as the local United Way or Junior League, that can be a source of new board members. BoardNet USA is an online resource for matching nonprofits and potential board members. Professional associations (the local Bar Association, etc) can also be a source of potential board members. Umbrella membership organizations, such as Association of Professional Fundraisers (AFP), sometimes offer their members training in finding and engaging new board members.
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Some nonprofits are drawing on the expertise of professional recruiters or "head hunters" to help them think about new ways of finding and approaching potential board members.
While nonprofits often want consultants to bring them new board members, few can or will do so. Consultants can, however, help board development/governance committees develop a board profile, create a recruitment plan, shape interview questions, and design an effective orientation process.
An external facilitator can be especially helpful to a board that is grappling with issues of organizational culture and barriers to inclusion of new members or alternative points of view. In that role s/he can provide valuable information and insight to the board about how their way of operating is seen from an outside perspective, and what changes might help the board become more effective and inclusive.
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