Monday, July 2, 2012

Finding A New Board Chair

While every one on a nonprofit board has a lot of responsibilities, the chair remains one of the most integral members. From delegating and encouraging colleagues to giving the board an identity, the chairman of the board exerts a great deal of influence.

That's why it can be so important to find the right individual to take this role.

Unfortunately, finding the ideal candidate is easier said than done. In order to begin the process of choosing a new board chair, Dennis C. Miller, a frequent contributor to The NonProfit Times and head of Dennis C. Miller Associates in Morristown, N.J., said there are 10 specific actions that can be taken to identify and appoint a board chair:

  • Immediately begin to assess the leadership talent of current board members.
  • Ask your current board chair to begin as soon as possible to identify potential candidates.
  • Institute ongoing board training for all board members.
  • Offer the chair-elect a professional board coach/mentor.
  • Ensure the board’s work is done efficiently.
  • Find ways to recognize and reward board members for the job they do.
  • Provide opportunities for all board members to participate in a wide array of committees, task forces and advisory boards.
  • Highlight the organization's continuous strides for excellence.
  • Recognize former board chairs for their contributions.
  • Recognize and address the reasons why appointing a board chair is difficult.

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