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Recruiting for Success. Does Board Diversity Matter?

Cotter Mazzola, Meg E.; Pontacolon, Joseph L.; Claudio, Angel; Salguero, Javier A.; James, Marcelles; Yawson, Robert

Nonprofits play an essential role in society. To realize their important missions, nonprofits rely on strong and committed leaders at both the organization level as well as the governance level. Nonprofits are obligated to have an active board of directors to operate. This reliance places the organization in a vulnerable position where they must recruit and engage with external stakeholders and identify individuals with the combination of talent needed to succeed as well as the passion for supporting the organization's vision. Knowing that board members have a long- lasting impact on their organizations, this paper looks at the varying models of governance and the implications for choosing one model over another. Determining the best structure for a governance model represents one component to setting an organization up for success. Equally, if not more important, is ensuring that the board of directors is composed of motivated and committed individuals who are steadfast in their efforts to support the mission of the organization. In order to find the best people for the role, an organization must understand what drives and motivates an individual to serve on a board. The topic of motivation as it relates to governance boards, and how existing boards can use the motivating factors to recruit and retain board members is explored. Finally, we explore the value of diverse board composition and whether certain criteria of diversity carry more weight in terms of impact than others. Keywords:

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