Services: Board Development

Our experience partnering with nonprofits for 25 years has shown that board leadership drives financial and programmatic success.  The right board members focused on the right outcomes ensures impact and mission achievement.

Nothing is more important to the health and sustainability of your organization than recruiting highly qualified and enthusiastic people to serve on your board. The job of building a board is about more than just filling slots. It is about finding leaders who have the right blend of skill sets, expertise, community connections and perspectives that align with your organization’s strategies, goals, and needs.

How the board does its work—its culture and structures—is just as important as getting the right people on board. Understanding the areas a board needs to strengthen is relatively straightforward; actually improving performance is quite challenging. An objective voice can help steer the board toward these needed changes.

OAI can tailor an approach to collaborate in ways that meet your unique needs, but broadly, we offer Board Development support across three areas:

Board Recruitment

OAI’s strategic approach to recruiting the right leaders for your board.

Best if you are:
  • Challenged by your board’s lack of commitment to fundraising and ability to personally bring resources to the table.
  • Needing greater diversity in sectors, skill-sets and demographics.
  • Committed to building your board but lacking the staff resources to lead the effort.

Services Include:

  • Profile the board and identify under-represented sectors, skill sets, and demographics to develop recruitment criteria.
  • Engage the board’s governance or nominating committee in this work.
  • Revise the board job description, including implementing a clear fundraising expectation.
  • Identify board candidates and develop cultivation and recruitment plans for each.
  • Work with the CEO and board leaders to cultivate and recruit new board members.
  • Provide day-to-day leadership of the board recruitment process.
  • Implement a comprehensive board orientation program.
Key Benefits:
  • New board members recruited with clear expectations of their roles, including giving/getting.
  • A system for ongoing board recruitment.
  • A team solely focused on board recruitment, ensuring results.

Board Engagement/Governance

OAI services designed to build deeper engagement at the board level and implement governance changes to support this effort.
Best if you are:
  • Seeking greater board alignment with your organization’s mission, goals and current needs.
  • Experiencing low turn-out at board and committee meetings.
  • Seeing inconsistent engagement by board members.

Services Include:

  • Assess the board’s structure and by-laws, governance policies and procedures, including the size of the board, term length and limits, meeting frequency and schedule, etc. Implement changes that will foster greater board engagement.
  • Assess the committee structure and committee charters and make changes based on the current and future needs of the organization.
  • Review and revise the board job description and its fundraising requirements.
  • Conduct a board assessment, asking board members to assess the board as a whole and their individual performance. Share results and develop a plan to implement changes.
  • Develop a strategy and plan for communicating with board members in between board meetings..
Key Benefits:
  • Outside counsel provides an objective voice to help steer the board toward needed transition.
  • A strengthened board structure and culture and deeper engagement by board members.

Board Fundraising

OAI specializes in training and supporting board members in their roles as fundraisers.
Best if you are:
  • Aggressively seeking to increase revenue and the help of your board to do so.
  • Struggling to engage your board members in fundraising.
  • Fortunate to have a board willing to fundraise, but doesn’t know where to start.•

Services Include:

  • Fundraising training customized for board members, focused on how they can help identify, cultivate, solicit and steward donors. Includes “the art of the ask” training.
  • Develop individual fundraising goals with each board member; create and manage each board member’s pipeline of donors; and develop cultivation plans and work with board members on prospect outreach.
  • Ongoing fundraising coaching and advice for board members.
  • Assist the Board Chair and CEO in determining personal gift requests for each board member and facilitate these solicitations.
Key Benefits:
  • Takes the guesswork out of a board member’s role in fundraising.
  • A team to support board members in their fundraising efforts.
  • Increased revenue for your organization.

Representative Board Development Clients: