Board Development

The Importance of a Good Nominating Chair

Like food, non-profit boards can get stale. Even for those serving with the best of intentions, things can stagnate. When they do, fundraising becomes more difficult. It’s important to renew and revive the Board, preferably on an annual basis, in order to keep juices flowing and ideas coming to reach the Board’s fundraising and development goals.

Now this doesn’t mean that members get kicked off after only one year of service. On the contrary, it’s important to establish terms for board members with options to renew, while at the same time allowing those who fulfilled their term to cycle off the board without any hard feelings.

Finding new board members who will be effective leaders is fundamental to success in the non-profit world. It begins with the nominating process, and that process begins with the Nominating Chairperson. The ideal Nominating Chairperson differs for each specific organization. But there are a few requirements that every Nominating Chairperson should meet, regardless of the individual institution.

The Nominating Chairperson should be a current Board Member, well versed in the organization’s mission and work. The chairperson should have some sort of Board and leadership experience so that s/he understands what is required of each position. While it isn’t required that the Nominating Chairperson have a long-standing relationship with the organization, it is preferable whenever possible.

Of course, you also want the Nominating Chairperson to be a leader in his or her own right; someone who is outgoing, a good communicator and good judge of character. The Chairperson should be well regarded within the organization’s community, comfortable with volunteers and staff, but also with the most senior executives.

Once the Nominating Chairperson has been chosen, the nominating process can get under way. Often times that means choosing a Nominating Committee. For those details, stay tuned …