How do I form a board of directors ?

The law requires every company and nonprofit organizations to form a board of directors because this board would serve as your group’s governing body. Depending on your organization’s background, the board would vary widely in terms of structure and characteristics of individuals needed. If you’re running a nonprofit organization, would you prefer someone with good credibility to assist in fundraising? If you’re the head of a company, would you prefer a team who can work on the board hands-on or just hold occasional meetings?

Your goal is to form a board that would work perfectly with your organization’s mission. You can start by defining the board’s rules of operation in your organization’s bylaws, which would provide a detailed definition of your board, including information about the number of board members, positions, duration of terms and meeting conduct.

Before you start recruiting people, make sure to determine the skill set you would need for the board members. You can determine the major problems your organization faces. If your corporation has been financially unstable, you can find an eligible accountant as a board member. If your employees disagree often, get a human resources expert to help with personnel issues. As long as you choose members that would help the corporation improve in different areas, you’re just on the right track.

Create an application template, which would indicate their career history, skills and resources, relevant experience and reason for their interest in joining the board. Once you’ve compiled these templates, keep a list of potential board candidates. Once you’ve narrowed down a list of potential board members, invite them for a meeting to determine if their portfolio is as impressive as their personality. You can also determine one’s commitment and allow them to clarify possible issues of the position, if you choose them to be a member of the board.

Make sure you clarify the responsibilities of the board members before assigning them to the job to ensure the board would stay on track. Generally, you’d want to include information about the organization’s mission, raising funds, selecting an executive officer, enhancing the image of the company and other information that you may see fit.

When your board of directors cannot handle complex issues effectively, you can either assign two members for each committee or rearrange the committees each member handles by focusing on their expertise and switching them to appropriate functions. Be aware that nonprofit board members are usually volunteers, while the for-profit corporation counterparts are usually paid.

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