What new directors especially fail to realize is that much more than personality, drive, and harmony is at stake when it comes to soliciting talent for your board. The range of expertise among board members and their financial and philanthropic savvy are far more important to the development and growth of a nonprofit organization than personality traits that make them easy and congenial to work with. Of course, no one enjoys a board member who drones on endlessly about paper clips and light bulbs, but a chairperson or president with deep administrative experience can easily cut off the droner and move the board through its agenda at a good clip. And that is a quality that everyone on the board will appreciate.
Put personality aside for this all-important job and look instead for administrative and managerial depth in your organization’s specific mission, expertise in finance and investment, fundraising experience, and philanthropic reach. Board members who can open doors for you and your staff at foundations are invaluable to your organization’s growth and sustainability. And put Frank and all his energy where he belongs–rounding up all those enthusiastic volunteers for your first charitable 5K Fun Run!