Mickey talks with David Paule about Ready to Board, a program of Our Fundraising Search, recruiting and qualifying board members for nonprofits. David says: “In healthy, functioning nonprofits, the board of directors is the CEO’s most valuable tool. Unfortunately, most boards do not understand the value of a board seat, and do not recruit board members effectively. Board seats are more valuable left empty than filled with poor performing directors. Ready to Board matches board members and nonprofit missions after vetting, training and certifying that they understand the duties and roles of a board member.
“As we said in the last podcast, ‘Nonprofit’ is a tax status; it is not a license to lose money. Unfortunately, there is a misconception that the running of nonprofits is easier than for-profits when, they actually tend to be more difficult. Partially because of this misconception, the barriers-to-entry for boards of directors of nonprofits tend to be significantly lower than their for-profit counterparts.
“Unlike for-profits, no one owns a nonprofit; instead they are held in trust by their boards of directors for the benefit of the community in exchange for their tax-exempt status. Few people understand this. As a result, nonprofits frequently have to contend with boards of directors that are populated with directors who are not qualified to serve on them.
“When an organization hires us to recruit a board member, we vet them against a set of standards like any board candidate. But we also train them. For the board candidates, we put them through two, 3-hour sessions on board governance duties and obligations, and also on the best practices of the most effective boards. (Note: We will also provide this training for existing board members to help improve their effectiveness.)”