Board of directors · Non-profit

Any advice on finding volunteer board members for non profit?

Pamela McKenzie Digital Video Coordinator

February 23rd, 2016

I am in the process of starting a non profit organization. I am having the toughest time locating volunteer board members. Any suggestions on any sites I can go to?

Andrew Chapman Publishing Entrepreneur and Author

February 23rd, 2016

John Seiffer's advice follows my experience. I was passed the presidency of a small non-profit of which I'd been a member. The past president, who was the founder, was the only board member (aside from another in name only). It was nearly impossible to find people who would jump straight to board member; the only person I could recruit was a close friend/colleague. But the two of us alone built the association from a dozen members to around 35 over a couple years, at which point we had enough "juice" to attract another board member. With that person's help and connections, we again tripled membership, at which point it was fairly easy to find board candidates, both from our membership and following.

I think a lot of people are reluctant to join boards because of the time commitment and potential politics. Conversely, it seems too many people who are quick to join boards are bad candidates because their motivations center more around their own power than contribution and cooperation. It's a tricky balance. So, from my experience and observation, there's a critical mass in your membership, following, and impact that you need to reach before you'll attract board members. Not saying you can't before that, but it involves a lot of networking, time, and outreach.

Lastly, don't be so eager to get board members that you take whomever comes your way. It's hard to be selective when you have few options - but in the long run, you'll be better off being choosy. Too hastily accepting a less-than-ideal candidate can create a mess that ends up being even more difficult.

Min. Cutting Evangelist at Insight Ministries Inc.

February 23rd, 2016

The above ideas are great. You have to look for people of similar passion. I can tell you that lawyers, CPA's etc, are taught to join in some community activities such as non-profits. I have done some video/TV myself and formed a non-profit religious corporation.

John Seiffer Business Advisor to growing companies

February 23rd, 2016

I don't know what type of non profit you're talking about but in most cases, the most critical job of non profit board members is to raise money for the cause. I don't know that you'll find people passionate enough to do that on any sites - but if you can it would be sites related to your cause. Better solution would be to find people who are willing to work with you to accomplish your non profit's goals and when you find one with enough time, smarts, connections etc ask them to be a board member.

If you find it hard to find or connect with people passionate about what you're doing, there's learning there too. 

Donna Riordan Founder and President, Research Now

February 24th, 2016

Good suggestions so far.  My two cents:  If you're just starting out, it's important to know what kind of expertise you really need on your governing board.  Some examples are strategy, policies, fundraising, finance, and networking.  Once you have answers that you can clearly articulate, take your time and target individuals with different skills who share your passion for the nonprofit, whatever it may be.

Daniel Tepke Hatching the Million-Dollar Business Idea (Accept Invitations)

February 25th, 2016

Start ut with someone from an accounting firm, a local banker would be next on my list. Not sure of your target market for the not - for - profit but if there are other for profits working with the target market see if you can get someone from each of those, local business... If you want to talk let's set up a time to do that.

Stephen G. Barr Inimitable Advisor with Wide experience.

February 23rd, 2016

I highly recommend


Susan Philip Healthcare Management Consultant at Milliman, Inc.

February 23rd, 2016

Board Source provides ways to match volunteer board members with nonprofit organizations. LinkedIn is a partner: Check out:

Michelle Hoexum principal at propeller

February 23rd, 2016

Try Catch a Fire Michelle Hoexum 616.481.4036

Nanette McGuinness Soprano, Voice Teacher, Co-Director of Ensemble for These Times (formerly Jewish Music & Poetry Project)

February 24th, 2016

Compass Point ( and the Foundation Center ( have classes, handouts, and advice on this. Compass Point, particularly, devotes a good deal of its coaching and training to non-profit governance.  You may well not find your volunteers there, but you might well find out HOW to find good volunteers there and how to structure your board and keep your volunteers engaged and happy.

Julie Trell Consultant: Corporate Philanthropy, Enterprising Educator, Creative THNKr, Door Opener, Light Bulb Turner-On

February 23rd, 2016

LinkedIn has a feature to put out request for board positions. Also check out boardsource https://www.boardsource.orgrg  as well as your lock Volunteer Center who often host Board Match events.