Governance Volunteers

The volunteers who serve on your Board of Directors are important. They are your governance volunteers.

These volunteers accept fiduciary and legal responsibility for your nonprofit. They ensure your nonprofit is operating ethically, legally and to its greatest potential.

These governance volunteers must be fully cognizant of their responsibilities and fully knowledgeable about the work of your organization. It rests with you and your organization’s staff to train and educate Board members and prospective Board members.

Selecting Your Board Members

Begin by developing an information packet with a broad overview of your organization and Board service opportunities. Then, schedule a get-acquainted session to share detailed information and answer questions.

Match the needs and work of your nonprofit with the interests and skills of potential Board members. Invest time making sure there’s a good fit between potential Board members and your organization.

Written Applications

Many nonprofits use a written application for Board prospects.

Consider requesting the following information during  your selection process:

  • past and current nonprofit Board involvement
  •  specific skills and talents
  •  references
  • conflicts of interest

You should also make sure a prospective Board member knows about your organization’s programming work, its financial status, fundraising and giving expectations, and community partnerships.

The National Council of Nonprofits has an excellent article on Board member Roles and Responsibilities: