Good Governance: Board Recruitment Tools & Resources

What’s Good Governance got to do with recruiting a board, especially the first one?board books

When we consult with individuals who are considering creating a new nonprofit and get to the discussion about board members, we get one of the three responses below:

  • “I’m going to have my wife/husband/sister/brother/mother/father/best friend (you get the picture) on the board.”
  • “Why do I need to have a board?”
  • “Where do I find board members?”

When an established nonprofit comes to the PCNRC we generally only hear the last question, along with “How do I get them to do anything?”

Let’s compare a nonprofit board with a buying a vehicle.

When you need transportation you have to consider:

  • What do I need the vehicle to do?  Do I need a car to get around or a truck to haul stuff?
  • Do I want a status symbol (think Rolls Royce) or will an ordinary model do?
  • Can it be easily maintained and repaired (without having to take a second mortgage on my house)?
  • How long do I plan on keeping it (until it gets totaled or just can’t go anymore)?

When it’s new, it’s dependable, moving along without trouble (unless it’s a lemon, but that’s another post).  It gets you where you want/need to go. It requires regular care and maintenance to stay in good shape, and as needed you’ll replace tires, brakes and change the fluids. As the vehicle ages though, parts may become difficult to get and repairs might become too costly so you’ll start looking for a replacement.  It’ll be hard to let it go because it’s been so faithful and you’ll miss it but it’s got to be done.

A good board is very much the same. You’ll need to know what you want the board to do.

Start up organization?  You need go-getters who like to be heavily involved, able to give lots of time and effort; are willing and able to raise the funds to get the organization going.

Adolescent organization?  Now’s the time to have strategic thinkers; adaptive people with good networks; still somewhat hands-on but not micromanagers.

Mature organization? You’ll want policy makers and fresh thinkers to mix with the believers; go-getters of a different kind, the big-picture folks to push the organization to the next level; movers & shakers to build planned gifts or raise capital funds.

The point is to “know what it is you need the board to do” based on “what stage your organization is in at the time“.

The Board Building Cycle: Nine Steps to Finding, Recruiting, and Engaging Nonprofit Board Members

by Berit M. Lakey 658.422 L14B, 2007

Here are Nine Steps from BoardSource’s book on finding, recruiting and engaging nonprofit board members.

1. Identify: develop a board profile; expand diversity

Perspectives on Nonprofit Diversity – a free BoardSource PDF

2. Cultivate: develop a pool of potential board members; cultivate relationships

Get Connected is the Paul Clarke Nonprofit Resource Center’s Get on Board networking event

3. Recruit: explore interest & mutual fit; prepare for nominations & election

Specific tools: board matrix, profile, or chart. Here are samples (that you must change according to your needs) from:

4. Orient: prepare new members for active participation; conduct an orientation

From BridgeStar’s Library: BoardSource’s Board Orientation

5. Involve: engage all members of the board; work towards becoming an inclusive team; clarify responsibilities

  • Tell recruits how much time they will be expected to contribute, what committee opportunities are open.
  • Share with recruits how the board spent the bulk of its time last year.
  • Be specific with some absolute requirements, and encourage others with a “Board Engagement Plan Sample” from which board members choose specific tasks from key areas like leadership, governance, fundraising, recruitment, etc.

6. Educate: provide training in the 10 Basic Responsibilities of Nonprofit Boards; create regular opportunities for education

7. Evaluate: assess board members understanding of mission, finances and policies; engage an outside assessment or self-  evaluate the board’s performance

8. Rotate: keep the board fresh; give tired board members time off the board

9. Celebrate: appreciate the work the board does; celebrate!

Continue reading

Job Opportunity: SAFY – Administrative Assistant

SAFYAdministrative Assistant (Divisional Office Manager)

This position serves as the office secretary for our Indianapolis division.

This is accomplished by the following:

  • Provide the finance department at the central office with accurate youth census information by maintaining the daily census records.
  • Oversee the maintenance of the files for youth in care in a current state at all times using the format identified by the Quality Improvement department. Ensure youth files are stored properly according to established procedures. Complete all files of discharged youth.
  • Use the computer to prepare drafts and final reports as assigned by divisional staff, assuring proper format and accuracy.
  • Maintain logging system for date sensitive documents including licensing re-certifications and training deadlines, and issue notification to appropriate staff.
  • Process the incoming and outgoing mail, including maintaining postage and pre-addressed labels.
  • Answer incoming calls, document, and distribute messages.

Educational Requirements:

  • High School diploma or equivalent is required
  • Associate Degree in appropriate course of study is preferred

Skill Set:

  • Excellent communication skills (oral and written)
  • Operate a computer in regards to Microsoft Office and agency database system
  • Strong organizational skills to prioritize work

Apply online at

Job Opportunity: Healthier Moms and Babies – Burmese Interpreter

Healthier Moms and Babies (HMB)/Fort Wayne Medical Education Program (FWMEP) is accepting applications for the position of PRN Burmese Interpreter.

The Burmese Interpreter assists by communicating between the client/patient and the Nurse, Social Worker, and any other clinical staff.

This is a grant funded position. The position will continue as long as external funding continues.


  • High School Diploma or GED required.
  • Two years of oral interpreting, Burmese to English and English to Burmese required.
  • Must be able to accurately interpret Burmese to English and English to Burmese.
  • Must be able to maintain client confidentiality.
  • Experience and ability to work with a diverse and multicultural community required.

To view this career opportunity and to apply, go to



All Aboard!

The Paul Clarke Nonprofit Resource Center team and the Get On Board Committee has revamped the SpringBoard program into All Aboard! The goal of the program remains the same – to help you recruit, retain, and engage new board members. The difference is in the format. Check out the details below for the newly reorganized All Aboard program.

All Aboard train picA meeting series to help you recruit, retain, and engage new board members.


Allen County Public Library, Main


Tuesday December 1, 2015 9am-12pm

Saturday March 12, 2016 9am-12pm

Thursday June 16, 2016 4pm-7pm


Up to six nonprofit organizations in Allen County and 1/3 (no less than two) of the organization’s board members. (Board members can rotate.)


First six organizations with completed application and fee. Click the following link for the application – All Aboard Application 2015-2016


$250 per organization. 75% refund for 100% attendance for all four programs (minimum of 4 board members must be in attendance at each of the four programs). Payable by check to Paul Clarke Nonprofit Resource Center. Drop off or mail to Paul Clarke Nonprofit Resource Center 900 Library Plaza Fort Wayne, IN 46802


PCNRC and Get on Board Committee, funded by the Foellinger Foundation


  • Presentation of materials
  • Board Members discuss practices
  • Q & A session with Stewardship Nominees


  • 10 Basic Responsibilities of Nonprofit Boards
  • Recruitment Strategies
  • Fundraising Ventures
  • Budget Construction


Implement what you learned and attend board recruitment events like Get Connected.

7 Tips for Facing the Future

Katherine Profile PictureAs a recent grad, I am constantly reminded of the future.

Many graduates feel a mix of emotions, both excitement about the possibilities of the future and the fear of a totally new routine and the overwhelming “what am I going to do now???”

So for my last post as intern here at the PCNRC, I want to talk about the future.

How can an organization prepare for the future in order to thrive no matter what life throws its way?

Here are 7 things to think about.

1. Adapt to Curve balls

It’s common knowledge that the Great Recession dealt a significant financial blow to nonprofits. Yet, some nonprofits applied the adage “what doesn’t kill you makes you stronger” and faced the adversity with creativity and adaptability. The July 2015 issue of the Chronicle of Philanthropy goes into detail about how certain organizations reacted during the Great Recession: a theater stuck with making bold choices in programming, a foundation changed its giving focus, a food stand diversified its revenue. When facing the curve balls thrown at your organization, remember the importance of both creativity and adaptability. These two factors have helped individuals face and conquer challenges, and they can do the same for your organization.

2. Embrace Innovation and Collaboration

An organization might spend its whole life span battling the same problem. But just because the problem stays the same, that doesn’t mean the solutions have to. “Significant changes come about when people dare to think beyond the immediate crisis {and} propose bold solutions” – Peter Dreier.

Recently I have read about nonprofit organizations and collaborations that take a new approach or combine forces to tackle issues. In some cases it makes perfect sense, such as the recent development of emergency housing units by the IKEA Foundation and United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees.  In other cases, a solution that sounds great at first turns out to be ineffective, irrelevant, or misguided. The point is to be open to possibilities and plan effectively. If you’re interested in nonprofit collaborations, the Foundation Center has a resource page dedicated to the topic: here.

3. Social Media…Don’t Be Afraid!

Don’t worry. If you feel like the social media storm has passed you by or you’re overwhelmed by it, it’s okay. I’m in my twenties and I sometimes can’t keep up. However, looking towards the future I think it would be better for organizations to not ignore social media, but to take steps (even if they’re babysteps) to utilize it. It can help with marketing, community outreach, networking, donor retention and many other things. And don’t feel like you have to do it all. Instagram might be great for one organization, but it might not work well for yours.

4. Events

After having pulled off an event, the last thing you might want to think about is the next one. But putting in a little effort at a current event can make the next one even more successful. Lisa Thompson highlights 4 ways to do this: Save Time by Planning Your Next Event Now.

5. Office Culture

I visited an office this week that made me want to run out of there the moment I stepped in. Luckily, I was in and out quickly, but I couldn’t help but feel for the staff trapped down there day after day. I am a firm believer that work environment and culture has a direct impact on employee health and productivity. For further reading on the topic see Why Designing Your Nonprofit Culture is Do or Die

6. Leadership

An organization’s leaders are the ones that are steering it towards the future. Without the right leaders, an organization can’t move forward or will sail off in the wrong direction. That’s why assessments of executive directors and board members are so important. It helps if they know what they are doing right and what they can improve on in the eyes of those they lead and serve. If you are a leader, be open to suggestions and remember the importance of communication. Co-founder of Twitter, Biz Stone, who has served as both a CEO and board member said, “I’m constantly communicating, because I’ve learned that it’s the most important job a CEO has.” Invest in the right leaders to guide your organization into the future. Further reading: Good Governance: Board Assessment

7. Be Bulletproof…Be Accountable

Search any nonprofit news site and there is bound to be something written about an instance of nonprofit fraud or board members behaving poorly. When I read about these cases, I’m reminded about what I learned at Board Bootcamp about the importance of strict accountability and asking questions if you are a board member. It’s also important to keep up with legal changes that can effect your nonprofit and to make sure you are in compliance with current rules and regulations. Recently, the Maine Lobster Festival became aware that it should have been collecting sales taxes and hadn’t been. It took 67 years for the festival to catch the blunder, but they contacted the authorities soon after finding out. Being aware and being accountable helps to maintain the integrity of the organization and will help protect it from fraud or legal issues in the future. The more accountable you are now, the less fear you should have about a major issue creeping up later.

A Pirate’s Presentation – September 23rd @ 4 pm

Erik Mollberg, the Pirate Presenter

Join us for the next 23@4 program with Erik Mollberg, Assistant Manager of Access Fort Wayne.

Erik will be speaking about Fort Wayne’s first and up and coming community radio station – WELT –LP, 95.7 FM. WELT is a non-commercial station and mission is to “challenge the cultural and intellectual assumption of our listeners through unique and diverse programming”.

Come and find out how your non-profit organization can participate, either through programming or by having you public service announcements read over the public airways.  WELT will also have your PSA’s translated into Burmese, Spanish, Hindi and Arabic.

To learn more about WELT, read the Living Fort Wayne article here.

To learn more about Access Fort Wayne, click here.

Register for the program here.

Cash Flow and Property Taxes – from DWD’s “Mission-Minded” blog

CarrieMinnichwebGet on Board’s, Carrie Minnich, CPA has written two new short articles on the Mission Minded, Dulin, Ward & DeWald, Inc.’s blog.

In her piece on cash flow projections, Carrie gives nonprofits a few tips. The first one is to start off with your annual budget and breakdown your expenses and revenue on a monthly basis. Carrie warns, [s]imply dividing the annual amount by twelve will not give you an accurate picture of your cash flows.” Overall, analyze your habits to better manage your cash flow. Click here to read more of Carrie’s blog post and to learn other tips on cash shortages and surpluses.

You’ll want to check out the Indiana property tax changes blog post too. Carrie passes along information about the date change to report tangible personal property. The date was March 1st and now it is January 1st. To read other details of this change, click here to read the full post.