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Chapter 3 Summary: Composition & Development



  1. With a clearly documented process to recruit, select, and orient new board members, the board makes sure the ideal people are in place and have access to the right information to best serve the organization.
  2. Recruitment and selection of new board members focus on individuals with a strong commitment to the mission and success of the organization.
  3. The board needs to make certain individual board members do not have any undocumented conflicts of interest that would affect the nonprofit’s wellbeing.
  4. The board needs enough people serving to fulfill responsibilities, which includes clear leadership with officer positions. Board member and officer positions are outlined in writing.

Here are some questions to think about...

  • What opportunities and challenges could the board prepare for through an intentional recruitment and selection process?
  • How could better orientation help prepare new board members for their role overseeing and advocating for the nonprofit?
  • What role does your nonprofit play in the community? How do you prepare board members to serve as ambassadors for the organization within the community?

Next steps...

  • Scan through the Harvard Implicit Association Test Choose 2-3 tests to take and schedule some uninterrupted time to take the tests. Review your results and think about how your implicit biases may affect your selection of new board members.
  • Review your nonprofit’s board orientation process. Then check out the following resources for more tips and practices to enhance your current process.

    Chapter Materials

    Boards in Gear Guide

    Start by downloading the Boards in Gear Guide that includes activities, worksheets, and reflection questions. As ...

    Chapter: Composition & Development – Guide

    Download this chapter's guide before watching the video.

    Board Member Application Form Sample

    Board Member Application Form Sample

    Board Member Position Description Resources

    A job description for board members, as well as officers, is helpful for current and prospective board members. ...

    Board Orientation Checklist

    Board Orientation Checklist

    Board Satisfaction Survey Sample

    Board Satisfaction Survey Sample

    Board Learning Plan Template

    Board Learning Plan Template

    Sample Board Self Assessment

    Sample Board Self Assessment from McKinsey

    Board Matrix Template

    Board Matrix Template for Board Recruitment

    Assess Your Board Culture Worksheet

    Board Member Self Evaluation Activity

    Read each question and think about whether this is something you currently do. If you answer yes to the following ...
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