According to Taproot Foundation, around 87% of human resources professionals and 92% of marketing professionals are interested in serving on a nonprofit board of directors.  This may sound like great news for Orange County’s 3,181 nonprofits, many of which are in need of more leaders on their governing body, but finding the right board member is not as easy as signing up the first person who is “interested” in board service.

Building a successful board of directors means more than just filling vacant seats with community members who are interested in serving on a board.  While having interest in and sharing passions with an organization are indeed necessary criteria for board members, they should never be the sole factors in board member recruitment. A successful nonprofit board of directors blends the right chemistry of individuals who will each contribute their expertise, skills and networking connections to provide an organization with the necessary oversight, guidance and fundraising support it needs to operate successfully.

To find the right board members, organizations should first identify what skills their organization needs. Is it legal expertise, community relations or marketing skill sets?  Writing job descriptions that explicitly state a board position’s responsibilities will help candidates know exactly what is to be expected of them.  Organizations should recruit beyond their personal and friend networks, and take plenty of time to get to know candidates and gauge whether or not they will be a good fit.

Most importantly, organizations looking for new board members should never rush the process just for the sake of filling an empty seat. Board members play a vital role in determining the success of an organization, so nonprofit leaders have every right to take their time to scout out the best candidates.

At OneOC, our careful cultivation of engaged, enthusiastic, resourceful and smart leaders has resulted in a successful board that has pushed us further than we have ever imagined. Because we know that an organization is only as strong as its board of directors, we help other nonprofits find effective board members through our Board Connection program, where we train prospective board members the skills necessary to successfully serve on a board, and help place them on boards of compatible nonprofits in Orange County.

If you’re a nonprofit looking for qualified and eager board members, email us at to learn more about how your organization can get involved.

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