There are a myriad of qualities that make a successful board member, from connections to the community and wealth to knowledge in a specific field. But there are a few intangibles that help make a good director great for the job, like the ability to think outside the box and remain neutral when discussing controversial issues.

It is also crucial for boards to have members with necessary communication skills, as they will typically be sharing sensitive information within meetings and out. Board members need to be able effectively communicate both verbally as well as in writing. A strong work ethic and a determination to do well by the organization is an additional quality of a good board member.

Having the right composition of board members is essential to a nonprofit’s success. Creative directors can provide a fresh perspective on issues that may be stuck or not being properly addressed. A financial advisor can assist in ensuring that all financial concerns are taken into account.

The nominating committee should spend time ensuring that new board members are well-suited to the role, and possess the required expertise and independence. A competent nominating committee will look for candidates with a range of abilities, including knowledge of the nonprofit’s operations and strategies, as well as the stakeholders. It is vital that the board does not have overlapping memberships since this could limit its effectiveness.

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