In this day and age, starting and running a successful nonprofit requires more than just time, compassion, and visionary ideas. It requires strong leadership. Having a sterling board of directors is essential for operating a successful nonprofit and ensuring its continued success.

Finding influential figures who are willing to participate on the board of directors can be difficult. Anyone with significant influence is already busy and is not looking to take on new responsibilities. But here are some tips that can get those influential leaders to consider joining a nonprofits’ board of directors.

Forbes states that the first step to gain influential board members is to reach out to influencers that have a personal stake in the nonprofit’s mission. Leaders that feel they have a personal interest and commonality with the nonprofit’s mission will be more compelled to volunteer their time and be included on the board of directors.

The next step, after demonstrating personal interest, is to show the potential director how being a part of the nonprofit can benefit them personally. When first pitching the potential director, be sure to include valuable sitting members of the nonprofits’ board for the meeting. This will demonstrate to the influencer that the meeting with them is being taken seriously and their time will not be wasted.

Once you have the potential board member’s attention, it is important to begin to manage their expectations. Make it clear what kind of financial and time commitments are involved in the position. Illustrate the timeline for the nonprofit’s current tasks and elucidate on any potential issues. This will help the potential board member feel that the nonprofit has a succinct grasp on the current environment and is taking their responsibilities and board members’ needs seriously.

It is also incredibly important to remember to be concise when pitching a potential board member. Take into account the potential director’s time and if it seems like they are unwilling to commit what is required, change tactics. Ask for them to make introductions and consult their network for potential partnerships. The more the requirements fit their personal purview, the more likely they are to say yes to a position on the board.

Leveraging any mutual relationships a nonprofit has with the potential director can be extremely effective, too. A mutual acquaintance approaching the influence on a nonprofit’s behalf will make the influencer more open to being on the nonprofit’s board.

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