Nominating Committees are the Mix Tapes of the Nonprofit Board World

June 16, 2013

nominating committeeRemember when the ultimate sign of love and friendship was a special mix tape made just for you? That was a while ago.

Today’s mix tapes are called playlists on your iPod, iPhone or iWhatever.

Similarly, nonprofit boards used to recruit new members via a special committee called a Nominating Committee, the mixed tape of the governance world.

In this annual activity, a small group would nominate potential board members for consideration. Discussions about adding new blood might take place once a year when it’s time for an “annual meeting.”

We see this a lot when organizations come to us for help with board recruitment. They are suddenly realizing that a handful of great leaders are cycling off the board (next month) and they desperately need some ideas. Ouch!

Fast forward to the high performing boards of today.

The Governance Committee heads up the year-round activities of board development, including continuous board education, improving board leadership and fine-tuning it to match the organization’s future needs, celebrating successes, and identifying/exploring new potential board candidates throughout the year in a deliberate manner.

This playlist is running on a continuous stream and is an essential part of the background music that inspires and informs the volunteer leadership of your organization.

The Giving Partner asks organizations whether they have written board selection criteria. What is this?

It’s an important document that the whole board helps to develop and the Governance Committee uses to identify board candidates based on the values of your organization, the skills and expertise your board is seeking, and on what you expect board members to do.

The biggest step toward achieving great leadership at your organization is getting the right people on the board and developing the potential of your current board members.

If your board is still operating in rewind mode with a mix tape model, consider moving to an iPod. We think you will love the playlist.


-Susie Bowie
Community Foundation of Sarasota County


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