« Back to blog main

Nominating Meeting Checklist

Ignoring the nominating committee is like building your house on the sand! Everything looks fine until the storm comes and the boards sink.

Stable boards matter — in storms and in philanthropic work. Over the past couple weeks, I’ve blogged about how to identify gaps on your board and suggested ways to show the nominating committee some love!

Now you’re ready for your first meeting. Today’s check list will result in the discovery of bonafide nominees who will solidify your organization and sustain your important mission.

Check List for the Nominating Committee Meeting

  • Compile names you’ve received from current board members and senior staff. (If you jotted those names on a napkin – like we all do when we’re busy – email me, and I’ll send you the nominee tracking chart that I’ve used for years!)
  • Confirm attendance and location. Remember, we’re working with busy volunteers.
  • Bring a copy of your organization’s by-laws – just one for reference.

Before You Distribute the List of Nominees….

  • Remind committee members of the basics:
    • How many total directors can be on your board?
    • How many spots do you have open at this time?
    • How long is each term?
    • How many consecutive terms may a board member serve?
    • What is the process for meeting with nominees and inviting them onto your board?
    • Discuss opportunities to fill gaps on your board. (Click here to learn how to identify gaps.)

The Nominee List

  • Distribute the list of nominees, and alongside each name, note the name of the person who made the nomination.
  • Assess each nominee in order. Here are some relevant questions to guide your discussion:
    • Why is this nominee a good fit for your board? Your mission?
    • Does the nominee fill a gap or strengthen a weakness identified on your current board?
    • Does the nominee have past board experience?
    • Is he/she reliable on other boards?
    • Using the time/talent/treasure standard, where is the nominee most likely to make a contribution?

Top Picks

  • If you have more nominees than open spots, ask yourselves, “If this were draft day, who would be our top picks?” Start scheduling meetings with your top nominees. You may not even get through the entire list if everyone says yes. Maintain your list, and next year, you’ll already have a starting point.

Don’t Go Home Yet!

  • For each nominee, decide who will take the meeting. (Who Asks Whom Matters!) While staff may be included, it’s very important that a peer of the nominee makes the ask. No peers? The chair of the nominating committee is next in line.
  • Decide when your new board members will be invited to their first meeting, and work back from there to establish a deadline by which you’ll need an answer.

Board Member Expectations

  • Provide a clear, one-page document which explains to the new nominee what’s expected. (Read, or Watch “How to Write Board Member Expectations.”)
  • Regularly update your Nomination Chart so you know who’s said Yes, No, Come Back Next Year, or I’m Thinkin’ about It
  • To discover more simple, experience-based fundraising tips, Click Here.
  • Do you have a fellow fundraiser who may benefit from this information? Click Here.
  • To share feedback on this post, email me or post to my Facebook page. To get winning, donor-centric,  goal-focused fundraising & marketing tips delivered directly to your inbox sign up here!