Recruiting and Retaining a Quality Nonprofit Board

While the recruitment process can be tedious, assembling a team of effective and engaged board members is well worth the effort for nonprofit organizations. As businesses of all industries are well aware, the current job market is hyper-competitive. In a new blog, Travelers offers five tips for assembling the perfect team.

Establish Specific Roles

When a nonprofit board experiences frequent turnover, it could be a sign that its members don’t feel as though they are making a specific contribution to the organization or that their talents are not being utilized to their full potential.

Make a list of specific roles that are needed for the team along with a brief explanation of each role. This visual representation can help ensure board members see their impact and feel fulfilled in their roles.

Respect Board Members’ Time

While members of a nonprofit board are often eager to help, their time is often limited. This can mean less time for crucial training to communicate duties and to establish comradery among the board.

Use the board members’ schedules to tailor hours that work for everyone.

Seek Diversity

The recruitment process for nonprofit organizations is often informal. Many volunteers often have overlapping talents and connections, making the already important topic of diversity even more critical. Ensuring your board includes members with distinct perspectives can help your organization be more relevant to more members of your community.

Implement Term Limits

Setting term limits is beneficial for both the board member and the organization itself. At the end of a term, there is an opportunity for both parties to decide if the partnership is still a good fit. If this is the case, the board member may be retained with an additional term. 

Ensure Protection

Board members take risks when they serve on a nonprofit board. Lawsuits can be brought on from a variety of directions, including from donors, vendors, competitors, employees, government regulators and more. If a board member is hit with an allegation of mismanagement, they may need to use their own assets to pay for legal defense and potential settlement costs.

To ensure your board is protected in the event of a lawsuit, procuring a Nonprofit Directors & Officers Liability insurance policy is the best option. This coverage is designed to help cover defense costs, settlements and judgments stemming from litigation against the organization. When obtaining this policy, it is critical to understand your coverage and limits of liability.

In addition to the D&O insurance policy, basic risk mitigation tactics and ensuring that board members are acting in line with your organization’s mission are also critical.


Working with a broker can help you ensure that you are in the best position possible to recruit, retain and protect your board members. Reach out to a trusted advisor to learn more.