Who do you need on your board and how can you get them there?

If your nonprofit is new, making a tiny amount of money with events, or has a disengaged board, it might be time to get new board members.

Where do you find them?

You want people high up in a corporation, so that they can approve thousands to sponsor your event, or a year-end gift to your organization, if they have left over marketing dollars in their budget. You also want people who have used your services, who are passionate about your mission.

Go to the Business Journal’s Book of Lists for your city.
Who are the biggest employers?
Who are the fastest growing companies?
Who are the richest companies?
And Who are the biggest givers in your city?

Pick one high ranking person from each biggest employer to call. 20-30 calls, max.
Pick one high ranking person from each fast company to call. Ditto
Pick one high ranking person from each rich company to call. Ditto
And finally, pick ten high ranking people from the most philanthropic businesses to call.

You should call at 7am on a Thursday morning, to get past the gatekeepers.

Ask the person if they have heard of your cause.
Ask them if they would like to hear what you do.
Ask them if they are interested in serving on a nonprofit board.
If not, ask them if they know anyone within the organization who would be interested.
If not, ask them if they know anyone outside of the organization who would be interested.
If still not, pick someone else from that company to call.

And you can always call back and ask for other things, such as:
Ask them if their company would be interested in doing a day of service for employees, or ongoing volunteer activities for employees.
Ask them if they have an employee giving program, or if they’d like to start one.

Keep going. Every no leads to a yes. I’m proud of you for asking.

PS. If you’ve got another way of finding nonprofit board members, I’d love to hear it. Please leave it in the comments below. Thank you!

Follow Mazarine Treyz on Twitter!

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