• Rethinking Board Member Recruitment: Expand Your Nonprofit Executive Search Functions

    Build a Talent Pipeline

    From major fundraising to critical decision-making, a nonprofit’s success is greatly influenced by its board of directors. As such, your nonprofit executive search functions should be broadened to include these vital roles. Nonprofit recruiters should devote the time, skill and strategy to build and retain a top-notch group of directors.

    How to Build a Talent Pipeline With a Nonprofit Executive Recruiter

    Start by looking at the nonprofit executive recruiter role as a vital part of an organization’s strategic decision-making. If possible, don’t take a short-term view of recruitment to fill an immediate need. Instead, make your nonprofit executive search an ongoing process in which you are constantly preparing and planning for future opportunities with a current candidate database.

    Duffy Group uses a strategy-driven approach called Recruitment Research that helps match board candidates with the organizations that need them. We have worked with many nonprofits and are happy to share our formula for success with your nonprofit organization.

    Based on this model, we recommend the following tips for building a successful nonprofit recruitment talent pipeline:

    1. Know your competition:

    Start looking into what other U.S. nonprofits are doing.  Research the local and national nonprofit landscape and start building your talent pipeline by looking at and considering passive candidates who you think would be a good fit for the organization, now and in the future.

    2. Identify the organization’s sizzle:

    Successful organizations differentiate themselves from others in their nonprofit category. Uncover your nonprofit’s “sizzle” factor and use it to attract the best people to your organization.

    3. Tell your organization’s story:

    Use your organization’s “sizzle” to frame opportunities in a way that will get prospective directors excited. Your board members are giving their time and talents, choosing to support your organization in their free time. Before you pick up the phone, solidify your pitch to convey why this opportunity is the right one for them.

    4. Go broad:

    As you partner with recruitment firms, be sure to look for board members from a variety of industries that align with your organization’s mission.  Focusing on different industries gives a board an array of perspectives and maximizes fundraising efforts by minimizing network overlap.

    Using our Recruitment Research model, our nonprofit recruiters focus on the organization’s mission, not recruiting. The Duffy Team looks beyond the traditional talent pool to find candidates with valuable skill sets and experience, even if it is not in the nonprofit sector. We also consider candidates with a strong presence in the area an organization serves. This methodology has worked for many businesses as well as a long list of nonprofits we have served.

    5. Look for leaders:

    Not everyone is a natural-born leader.  To find the right candidates, Non Profit Top Search Firms must identify confident decision-makers who are comfortable sharing opinions that lead to innovative solutions.

    Learn More About How Recruitment Research Can Benefit Your Nonprofit Board Search

    For additional recruiting tips and a deep dive into the five-step Recruitment Research process, check out Kathleen Duffy’s new book: Revolutionizing Recruitment: How Recruitment Research is Reshaping the Industry.

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