How to attract new directors

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How to attract new directors

Attracting and recruiting new directors is vital to the good governance of your organisation, but it’s a big commitment, and finding the right people for your board can be difficult.

New people come with fresh ideas, skills and experience and give your existing directors a chance to pass on skills and knowledge to new people before they move on.

So how do you find and then attract people to join your board?

Here is a step-by-step guide to help you find the right people for your organisation.

Work out who you are looking for

Sometimes it’s a challenge to find people to join a board, especially a volunteer board, but to ensure your organisation is well governed and your board works well as a group, it’s better to attract the right people than settle for ‘making up the numbers’. (Click here for ACNC- Quick tips: Choosing a new board member).

Some points to consider:

  • Determine what role you are trying to fill. Is it a general director or an office bearer position such as the secretary, treasurer, vice president or president (chair)?
  • Decide if you are looking for experienced people, or someone whose skills can be developed through mentoring or professional development,
  • Consider the diversity and gender mix you want on your board,
  • Check what your constitution says. Some require a particular representative such as from a geographic region, member group etc.
  • Review or create a position description for the role. Use this position description to guide who you approach.

Think about how many people are needed on the board

Your constitution will specify how many directors you should have on your board and it will also detail if they need to be representative of a group or region.

Consider if it’s time to think about planning for the future (succession planning) and attracting extra directors.

Plan ahead

Is it for your next AGM (Annual General Meeting) or to fill a recent or upcoming vacancy?

Here are some points to consider:

  • Leave enough time to attract your new director/s in time for the AGM.
  • Is it a casual vacancy? If so, check your constitution.
  • If you are having trouble achieving a quorum at your board meetings, filling this position is critical!

Click here for How to organise an AGM.

Think about how you will find potential directors

There are a number of ways to locate or attract new directors and it can be useful to actively search for people as well as promote a vacancy and wait for people to contact you.

  • Word of mouth. Do you know someone who may be interested in joining your board, or someone who you think would be a good fit. It’s important that the board as a group has discussed these approaches before they are made.
  • Promote the position in your newsletter, website, Facebook page or local paper,
    Don’t forget to use your networks and get others to promote in their newsletters etc.
  • Direct email to your members promoting the position
  • Advertise or search on volunteer connect services like Volunteering Tasmania

Click here for more information on the Board recruitment process.

Think about whether the people you are recruiting will actively support the organisation’s vision and mission

The people who sit on your board need to share the same values and sense of mission as your organisation. Check your Vision and Mission statements to ensure a good match.

Other things to consider:

  • Are they a "responsible person" - that is a person who is allowed to sit on a board? (Click here for ACNC - Disqualification from being a Responsible Person)
  • How long can they commit to sitting on your board?
  • If you are interviewing potential new directors, how did this go?
  • Are you seeking referees and if so, what was the feedback?

Does your organisation require its directors to have police checks or Working with Vulnerable People checks?

Congratulations and welcome aboard!

Well done on attracting and recruiting your new director(s). Let them know when the next AGM or board meeting is and the election or appointment process.

Other resources

Governance for good - the ACNC's guide for charity board members

Institute of Company Directors Australia - Board Position Matching Service

Probono Australia - Volunteer Match

Go Volunteer

Volunteering Tasmania