Many times a board will recruit another member with a specific role in mind. The recruiters may seek the prospective board member’s connection to a donor base, technical knowledge, ethnicity, or check-writing capacity.
Most times, the board never tells the new board member why they sought her out. She is then left to figure out on her own where she fits in the board and what the board expects of her. A new board member who spends too much time wondering how they are supposed to help is going to encounter some trouble.
Sometimes the new board member guesses right, sometimes wrong.
During the courtship, explain to the prospect what the board needs and why she might be a good fit to fill those needs. Answer the question, “Why me?” before the prospect accepts the board assignment to ensure that everybody is on the same page.
A board member needs the skills, ability and most of all willingness to fill the expected role. Check for all three before offering a board post.