Professionals Conversation on Sidewalk

By tapping into community resources, you may be able to find volunteers who will provide useful contributions to your government committee or board.


Top 10 Places to Find Government Committee or Board Members

  • 10/30/2014

Finding new volunteers to serve on your government board or committee can feel like looking for a needle in a haystack. This process can be complicated by board composition requirements, required approval from other agencies or regulators, or simply the limited visibility of your agency.

Many of our clients who are state and local government entities have had problems finding new board members, and have sought out new volunteers through surprising channels. There are probably plenty of civic-minded individuals in your area, you just have to know where to find them.

Here are ten places to look for board and committee members that you may not have thought of:

1. Social media — We are spending an increasing amount of time browsing social media sites like Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn. Consider posting openings on your organization’s social media outlets, and encourage your colleagues to do the same. The more staff who share the opening on their social networks, the greater your chance of finding the right person through these channels.

2. Local chambers of commerce — Local chambers of commerce are a great place to find individuals looking for networking opportunities and a chance to be involved in the community.

3. Local political organizations — You will find many people who are passionate about their community and civic service through local political organizations. If you need a position appointed by an elected official, this may be a great place to find a designee who will almost surely get approved. However, be careful to avoid controversial figures who might detract from your message.

4. Nonprofit organizations with similar missions — This can help strengthen your relationship with similar nonprofits, and the benefits of collaborating with other organizations like yours may give you ideas on how to improve various aspects of your organization.

5. Civic organizations — Many civic organizations (such as Rotary International, National Urban League, and AARP) in metropolitan areas have a large local membership base that is just waiting to be asked to serve. Contacting civic organizations that align with your mission can help build community relationships, and gives you the opportunity to tap into a deep resource of volunteers.

6. Retirement communities — Clients have told us that they found some of their most committed and hardworking board members at retirement communities. It can be very beneficial to your board to find someone in a retirement community with extensive experience in the type of work that aligns with your mission.

7. Local business leaders — If your organization serves a defined geographic region, consider approaching the local businesses that benefit most from your services. They will have deep knowledge of your organization and may offer insightful ideas on how to improve your operations.

8. Colleges and universities — College and university students — especially those whose studies are focused on the nonprofit or government sector — would be excited to put their education into real-world practice. Your organization can benefit by having someone on the board who knows the most up-to-date practices based on their studies, and who can relate to the younger generations.

9. Your constituents — Do you provide services to a population that does not normally have a voice? Consider which leaders among your constituents would make great additions to your team.

10. Bankers, attorneys, and accountants — These are three types of professionals that are often looking for opportunities to participate in the community. In addition, they come with valuable skill sets that can help propel your agency to the next level.

Using one or more of these channels can help you get a board that is diverse, well-informed, and has the best interests of your organization in mind.