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Is Your Nonprofit Attractive?

This is the question a nonprofit should ask when seeking new Board Members. 

The recruitment of talented, passionate, and committed volunteers is invaluable and critical to the viability of the organization. 

In addition to its cause, location, reputation, and financial stability, a nonprofit must be ready and equipped to plug the prospective Board Member’s unique talents into the organization’s activities and goals. 

Here are a few items nonprofits should have on-the-ready when presenting themselves:

  • A work plan (i.e. strategic plan)
  • An annual budget that mirrors the work plan as best as possible
  • A board organization chart reflecting committees chaired by individuals serving on the full Board. Committees should, in combination, represent all of the organizations programmatic and fundraising activities, with the only “standing” committees being Executive, Governance and Finance
  • A board commitment letter that details out the nonprofit’s expectations of the prospective Board Member, including meeting and event attendance, committee membership and financial/fundraising commitment
  • A board composition matrix that covers all individual Board member details, especially skillsets 
  • Sufficient directors & officers (D&O) insurance coverage
  • A ready-to-go heritage file that includes, as an example, the IRS tax determination letter, most current year-end audit or other financial statements, Form 990, and annual report as well as a summary of the organization’s history and its current bylaws

Board Members may not always state this exactly, but their sentiment is consistently “help me help you, tell me what I can do." Your organization’s preparation and readiness to respond to this question, with specifics, will lead to the attraction and retention of the ideal Board Member. 

One who understands their role within an organization and can concretely see how their unique skills can contribute to the fulfillment of your nonprofit’s mission.


Rolland Standish has over 25 years in public accounting and is the partner-in-charge of H&J's broad non-profit client base - cultural, social, churches, trade associations, unions and many more - located in Northern Ohio, New York, and New Jersey. An active volunteer, Rolly has held leadership positions in area non-profits, including the Arthritis Foundation, LakewoodAlive, and WIRE-net.