The Board Recruitment Brochure

© ReSolve, Inc. 2007

Does your organization have a Board Recruitment brochure?

While the Community Benefit sector uses brochures for all sorts of things, it is the rare organization that uses a brochure for board recruitment. But what better way to share pertinent information with prospective board members?

Finding Good Board Members Is Not Magic
Even this many years after we initially published our Board Recruitment manual, we are surprised at how many organizations have no process for recruiting board members. Many boards still believe the "good" board members would never choose to sit on their board - that "good" board members want to be on all the other boards in town, not theirs.

Most of those boards are not victims of being too small or too un-sexy. They are victims of two conditions:

  1. They believe their own doom and gloom story, and
  2. They have no ongoing process for proactively recruiting board members.

These are the same boards who often end up taking anyone with warm blood and a pulse, and then lamenting how horrible their board meetings are!

To break that cycle, all it takes is reversing those two conditions. First, know that because your organization does incredible work, there are indeed "good" people who will want to serve. And second, develop a proactive process for finding those people and recruiting them to your board.

As you develop that proactive recruitment process, you will find that one of the handiest items you can have is a Board Recruitment Brochure.

 Use It Today

The following is excerpted from the workbook, Board Recruitment and Orientation: A Step-by-Step, Common Sense Guide, by Hildy Gottlieb.

Most prospective board members know little about the organization they are being invited to govern. The intent of the introductory brochure, therefore, is to give them a good sense of what they are getting themselves into.

The brochure will answer three questions.

What is this organization all about?
This is more than just providing your mission statement. Think back to when you were a new board member - what would you have liked to have known? Those are the kinds of issues you will want to describe in this portion of the brochure.

This could be a list of programs and what they do, as well as the impact those programs have in the community. It could be a list of major funding sources. It could be the organization's goals for the next 5 years. Whatever is important for that person to know, to be able to make an informed decision about whether or not he/she wants to help guide that work, that is what should be included.

What would my job as board member be?
Let your prospects know what will be expected of them. Perhaps include portions of your board member job description. Let them know how much time commitment will be required if they choose to be on this board. Let them know what role the board takes in the organization - what the board does for the organization.

How does the recruitment process work?
Give prospects an overview of what to expect from your recruitment process AND how you will decide whether or not they will be chosen to sit on the board.

The Benefits
There are many benefits to creating a Board Recruitment brochure. The first and most obvious is that it requires that you consider all those questions, so you have the answers to put into the brochure in the first place! Having the answers when your prospects ask those questions will be a huge step towards being more proactive in your recruitment efforts. (And if a prospect is not asking these questions, do you really want him on your board?)

In addition to that obvious benefit, there is a side benefit to having a Board Recruitment brochure: your prospects will be impressed. That brochure will let them know that you take the role of Board Member seriously, and that you will expect them to do the same. Sometimes it is not just what you say in the brochure that counts - sometimes the critical point is simply that you have put such forethought into your Board Recruitment process that you have a brochure at all.

For more information about Board Recruitment and Orientation: A Step-by-Step, Common Sense Guide, Click Here

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