Board Member Search Strategy
A project for Manna Project International
Feb. 12, 2013
Pro Bono Time
Manna Project International (MPI) is looking to conduct a strategic board expansion/revamp as it transitions into its next stage of growth. Currently, MPI has a six-member board, including the Executive Director, all of whom are young professionals and all of whom were formerly involved with MPI as volunteers/staff. While MPI does need to increase the fundraising capacity of its board, it also needs strategic leadership to help it continue its international and domestic expansion and continue its transition from a startup organization to a leader in the youth-led international development field.
We are looking for a professional who can help us construct a framework for conducting this expansion/search, including identifying organizational leadership needs/leadership priorities, assessing current strengths and weaknesses, formulating an ideal board size/composition, and both helping identify potential candidates and advising staff and board leadership about how to conduct such outreach themselves.
If you have any additional questions about MPI and/or this project, please don't hesitate to ask.
A board member search strategy helps an organization build a strong board of directors that is committed to furthering the organization's mission. The right board members substantively contribute time, knowledge, talent, and resources, as well as provide informed directives to an organization's staff. This project helps an organization understand its needs, develop an ideal board structure, and identify the types of skills, expertise, and characteristics of potential board members.
A document outlining a board member search strategy that may include:
- A description of an ideal board structure and the ideal roles to be filled
- A guide that maps board roles to strategic goals
- A board candidate evaluation guide
- At least one prospect for each board seat to be filled
- Biographies of each potential board member
- Contact information for each potential board member
- Analysis of the value of each potential board member
- Possible conflicts of interest for each potential board member
The professional conducts up to eight interviews with the organization's key stakeholders including board members and management team.
The professional uses this information to develop a guide that maps board roles to strategic goals, outlines an ideal but realistic board composition, and catalogs the current skills and competencies of existing board members.
The professional reviews this initial strategy with the Executive Director and collects feedback.
The professional uses this information to refine the analysis of the current board structure and develops a candidate evaluation guide to help the organization assess potential candidates.
The professional and Executive Director go through two rounds of edits to the candidate evaluation guide.
The professional and Executive Director use the candidate evaluation guide to review the organization's existing board prospects (if any) and identify any individuals with the required attributes. The professional and Executive Director also identify a strategy to reach these individuals.
The professional identifies at least one strong prospect who meets the requirement for each role and delivers a final document detailing each prospect's candidacy, including a brief biography, contact information, and why the organization may appeal to the prospect.
- At least 2 years in business development, human resources, organizational management
- Experience in prospect identification and recruitment
- Clearly articulated strategic priorities and organizational goals
- A vision for the board that goes beyond fundraising
- An Executive Director and Board of Directors (if a Board exists) who are strongly committed to this project
- Capacity to further research, cultivate, and steward prospects
- Staff who can invest the necessary time to make the project succeed
Would you please provide one or two examples of the type of project Manna underatkes perhaps one international and one domestic? I am trying to understand if I am in a good position to make specific candidate recommendations. Thank you