Here's an interesting list of questions that are proposed to folks considering joining a nonprofit board. I'm thinking I would encourage prospective members to at least ask (and receive answers to) Q's 2 which should include mission (although this looks a lot like Q3); Q8 and Q9 but include "get" along with give. Of course Q6 is a given but I suppose that depends on the person being recruited. The rest of the questions are not what I would think of as game stoppers to join but would kind-of expect answers be offered at the on-boarding exercise.
Contemplating a joining a nonprofit board?
Years ago a corporate client and friend of mine was thinking of joining a nonprofit board and asked for my advice about what questions he should ask. I put together a list of questions to ask, he asked the questions, found the responses very enlightening, joined the board with eyes wide open, shook some things up, and the organization has since gone from strength to strength.
I have been refining it ever since, and thought today was as good a day as any to share it! So – if you’re contemplating joining a nonprofit board, before you commit, here are ten killer questions to ask your potential nonprofit Board colleagues.
- How much faith do you have in the current CEO/Executive Director?
- What are the current objectives for the organization and what happens if they are not met?
- Can I see the strategic plan?
- What will the organization NOT do?
- Who makes key strategic decisions (i.e. to serve a target group, to allocate a significant portion of funding)?
- What is the current funding situation & how sustainable are the sources?
- Do you know how much it costs to serve a client?
- Who are the other board members and what are their roles?
- Are board members expected/required to make a financial commitment to the organization? Why, or why not?
- How does the Board relate to other local, national or international Boards associated with the organization? Is it clear who is expected to do what? Who gets to make what decisions?