• How to recruit board members with finance experience?

    Posted by Rick on February 6, 2024 at 2:08 pm

    We are a small nonprofit organization starting out in the educational media space. We currently have five board members and are focussed on growing our leadership and advisory board this year.

    Where can we recruit a board member with expertise in nonprofit financial management and strategy? Our board currently consists of creatives and research scientists but we lack any real experience with nonprofit governance. We would like to start making connections in these areas.

    Any advice would be greatly appreciated. We also welcome anyone who is interested in joining our board to reach out and connect.

    Thank you!

    kelly replied 1 day, 1 hour ago 8 Members · 9 Replies
  • 9 Replies
  • Wade_Rogers_Forum_Moderator

    Member
    February 7, 2024 at 7:46 am

    Hi Rick.. thanks for reaching out to our forum! This is a question I receive quite often and I have to say it’s no easy task since you are looking for folks with a specific area of expertise who are also interested in (hopefully passionate about!) the organization’s mission. You would want to start with the networks surrounding your fellow board members as well as your constituents. I have found that identifying finance professionals simply because of their profession isn’t always the best tactic unless you can really pique their interest in the mission. Also, there are many community-based programs that help match interested board candidates to organizations. BoardSource has a helpful listing here: https://boardsource.org/fundamental-topics-of-nonprofit-board-service/composition-recruitment/board-recruitment/board-posting-matching/

    Good luck with your search! I’m looking forward to hearing from others in the community.

  • heather

    Member
    February 8, 2024 at 11:54 am

    LinkedIn can be a resource for finding volunteers. Also, connect with someone at your local community foundation (if there is one). They might get approached by people who want to volunteer.

  • Ruth.McCambridge

    Moderator
    February 8, 2024 at 2:28 pm

    I would second Wade. Don’t make the mistake of recruiting what used to be called “MAPS” (middle aged professionals) for their financial or other professional skills. All board members should be focused on the mission above all- go to your own networks and do some leg work to find out who among you mission focused creatives and scientists also has nonprofit financial chops. I have rarely met a nonprofit accountant or CFO without creative instincts and many of us creatives have some reasonable financial skills. Recruiting on the basis of professional skills first often results in a fractured and largely dysfunctional board or one that is tightly herded by staff

  • Robert

    Member
    February 8, 2024 at 3:27 pm

    I incur this issue is a reoccurring problem as a retired CPA specializing in NFPs, I constantly receive calls from very small NFPs. I assist NFP in establishing and cleaning up accounting records for regulatory reporting, where their Treasurer has either failed to do the work or left the organization and hasn’t been replaced. I have had some luck in reaching out to retired accountants who are interested in the organization’s purpose via Meet-Up groups focused on the same or related causes.

  • MicheleT

    Member
    February 8, 2024 at 10:59 pm

    I guess my question is what are your expectations of a financial board member? Are you concerned about your finance staff (like minimizing expenses or reporting issues)? Or fundraising and development issues? Do you need someone well versed in capital campaigns to help you expand your program/s? I believe that knowing what aspect you want to strengthen related to your finances would direct you on where to start looking for a board member. Some member only C-Level networking associations may have people looking for board opportunities. Just a thought.

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