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Show Some Love to the Nominating Committee

We all grapple with the challenge of filling our limited board seats with trustees who can support our mission! I mean, we’re gonna be connected for several years, right? This means, it’s time to show some love to the quiet, oft ignored Nominating Committee!


•Re-new the commitment of existing board members
•Fill vacant spots with philanthropic people!
•Consider relevant info: Watch: How to Attract and Keep Your Best Board Members. Read: How to Identify gaps on your board.

Successful Strategies for Finding New Nominees

1. Call your nominating committee chair. I’m sure she’s busy so get her thumbs up to email your entire board and ask for nominations.

Here’s a sample email, which I’ve used effectively for years:

On behalf of our Nominating Committee Chair, Sarah Doe, I’m writing to ask that you email me names of friends and associates who are passionate about our work by September 8th. We have three vacant spots.

As you know, our board members provide the foundation for our success, and filling these seats with trustees who are – or can be – philanthropic and passionate about our work is important. Thank you in advance.

2. Include trusted staff in your process. Often, your team knows volunteers and donors who may not be identified by your board.

Don’t Be Discouraged by the Silence in Your In-Box! You will need to send a couple of reminders. Our boards of directors have busy lives!

3. In Excel, list names of nominees as well as the name of the person who made the nomination. (Email me to receive Miracle Strategies’ Nominating Committee tracking document.)

4. Next, send your cleaned up list of names to only two people: your Nominating Chair and your Board Chair. Get their feedback first.

5. Set a date for the Nominating Committee meeting, and include key staff.

Important Insight

Nominating Committee meetings naturally include personal conversations about capacity to give or get, propensity to get behind your mission, reliability, and commitment.

Trust is essential in these meeting because, while each nominee is likely wonderful, each nominee is not a fit for your board! (Click to read my Savannah Morning News article on the importance of writing out trustee expectations.)

Explain that the conversations you’ll be having should be kept in confidence, and at the end of the meeting, take up the paper lists of names.

6. Now, prioritize nominees based on your organization’s needs and trustee expectations.

7. Assign a current board member to call on your new nominee! Remember, Who Asks Whom Matters,” which I wrote about for the Savannah Morning News.)

This is important work! Being on the board of your charity or non profit organization is not an opportunity to build a resume! It’s an opportunity to change lives as only your mission can!

  • To discover more simple, experience-based fundraising tips, Click Here.
  • Do you have a fellow fundraiser who may benefit from this information?  Click Here.
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