How Board Members Are Nominated

October 26, 2022

Whether the Board of Directors of your organization is planning a succession, looking to make structural changes, or you are establishing a board for the first time, you will need a board nominations committee. Board nominating committees are responsible for nominating board members. Their roles include evaluating current policies and roles held by the board, recognizing members who uphold the mission of your organization and vetting potential nominees for election. 

Board nomination committee members must be well-versed in the mission and vision of your organization. Because they are tasked with selecting future candidates for the board, they must understand the goals of your institution. Make sure your committee members are up-to-date with challenges or changes your organization hopes to make, are engaged with other members, and work to cultivate relationships with others in your organization. Your board should be a diverse representation (in skill, age, ability, race, gender, and more) of your organization to serve the interest of your entire membership best. 

But what does the board nominating committee process look like? In this next section, we will walk through the process widely used by most groups and institutions.

Revisiting Established Policies and Board Members

Aside from nominating new board members, a Board Nominations Committee is also responsible for ensuring the Board of Directors is satisfactorily upholding its duties. It also reviews policies that are relevant to the board, as well as jobs on the committee itself. Around the time of year when board nominations begin, these committee members review these policies as well as evaluate the current board members.

They identify which board seats require succession during this time. They also propose alternatives or modifications to existing policies. 

Identifying Potential Candidates

Your Board Nominating Committee must stay involved in the community of your organization. Its most important task is to identify members in the community who display leadership, a mastery of a critical skillset, and experience in the areas in your board require expertise. 

As it identifies these individuals, it needs to keep in mind the needs of the organization. Your committee will need to work with staff, other committees, and the existing board to determine these needs. It is okay if these needs fluctuate or change with each election–the nominating committee must communicate in writing what qualities it is looking for in nominees, and is responsible for distributing this information to the community.

Common deciding factors are diversity screens, essential skills (financing, equity, etc.), leadership, and personal qualities. From there, the nominating committee develops a process to reach out to those potential nominees. Once they have been identified, they proceed to the next steps. 

Interviewing Potential Nominees

The Board Nomination Committee is responsible for developing comprehensive interview questions for potential candidates. These questions pertain to the tasks and duties relating to the seat position up for election, relevant information about the organization, as well as the expertise and skills of the interviewee. The questions from the committee must remain consistent from candidate to candidate.

The committee may also answer questions asked by the potential candidates. Committee members must be up-to-date on what information is to remain confidential to the committee and the board and maintain that confidentiality when answering questions from potential nominees.

Recommending Nominees

After the interviewing process is complete, the Board Nomination Committee reconvenes to review the candidates. It uses best practices to ensure the candidates are qualified for the positions they are running for, if they align with the organization’s objectives and mission, and if they meet the needs of the board. Once that is completed, the committee presents the slate of candidates to the officers or board members for election.

Electing Board Members from Selected Nominees

The election portion of any board nomination can sometimes be the most difficult, but it doesn’t have to be. Whether your organization is diverse in age, ability, or even geographical location of members, you can have an effective, accessible, and easy way to get everyone’s vote.

A platform like ElectionBuddy offers various methods for submitting votes and ways to customize your voting process. The best part? Our resources can be used at any point in your election process. If your committee prefers to have open-floor (or member write-in) nominations, ElectionBuddy can streamline that process. If you’re down to the final steps in your election process, ElectionBuddy can help you with digitizing your voting process or gaining access to all of your members in a way that suits them.

ElectionBuddy is a secure way to streamline your election process. You can start a free trial to begin your consultation and find a democratic process that is customized to your unique organization. Everyone deserves a fair election–help your organization streamline those votes so you can get back to making a difference.

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