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How to Recruit Board Members for Your Nonprofit on LinkedIn

Effective nonprofit board members can be some of your organization’s most dedicated advocates, but figuring out how to recruit board members can be quite a challenge for nonprofits. Organizations sometimes struggle to recruit beyond their existing networks, which can lead to homogenous boards that lack diverse perspectives and don’t reflect the communities they serve.

Fortunately, today’s nonprofits have more resources than ever for expanding their networks and finding exciting, diverse new candidates to build a dynamic, engaged board — and LinkedIn is a great place to start that search. In the following guide, you’ll find answers to key questions like:

  • How do I attract a nonprofit board member? 

  • How do I list board positions on LinkedIn? 

  • How do I find nonprofit board members on LinkedIn? 

While finding and recruiting nonprofit board members looks slightly different for each organization, these tips can help you along the path to building an effective nonprofit board with the power of LinkedIn.

Tips for attracting ideal board members to your nonprofit

How do I convince a nonprofit board member to join my organization?

Before reaching out to any prospective board members, start by reviewing your organization's mission statement to ensure your vision is well defined. Having a clear mission can help prospective board members better understand your organization’s goals — and envision how they could help move that mission forward. 

Once you’ve crafted an impactful mission statement, consider revisiting other elements of your nonprofit’s external branding before beginning outreach to potential board members to ensure a cohesive brand experience.

How can I set my nonprofit brand apart to recruit board members more effectively?

One important part of your nonprofit brand is your employer brand, or how your nonprofit is perceived as an employer by prospective job candidates. Leveraging your employer brand to differentiate your organization as a great place to work or volunteer can also be an effective way to attract potential board members. 

To build your employer brand on LinkedIn, complete your nonprofit’s Company Page and share content that spotlights your employees, volunteers, and other supporters whenever possible. Make sure to highlight their impact, demonstrate your appreciation, and tie everything back to your mission. This content can help get potential board members excited to learn more about your nonprofit and how they can make an impact alongside you and your team.

How do I find and recruit board members that are right for my organization?

According to the Greater Washington Catalog for Philanthropy, an important step in finding board members is to know what you’re looking for. What does your board need? Consider your organization’s current gaps.

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Do you have any limitations in terms of skills or areas of expertise? Build out an ideal board member persona the same way you might make an Ideal Donor Profile. You can later match these attributes up with candidates to build a qualified recruiting pool. Then, consider ways to expand your reach and tap into the diverse communities that your organization serves to find potential candidates who will bring a valuable perspective to your board.

How to use LinkedIn to recruit board members for your nonprofit

How do I list nonprofit board member positions on LinkedIn?

It’s free to list a job opening on LinkedIn, including an open position on your nonprofit’s board. Go to LinkedIn Jobs and fill in the details about the position when prompted, including your organization’s name and location.

Next, write a description of the opportunity, including the time commitment involved and whether your board meets in person, virtually, or in a hybrid setting. Add a few lines about your mission in case candidates aren’t familiar with your nonprofit, and consider including a call for professionals from all backgrounds to apply, signaling that your board welcomes diverse experience and perspectives.

How do I find nonprofit board members on LinkedIn?

Rather than waiting for people to apply for your nonprofit’s open board positions, why not approach high-potential board candidates directly?

If your organization uses LinkedIn Recruiter or LinkedIn Sales Navigator, use the advanced search capabilities of these tools to rapidly identify LinkedIn members who not only match the criteria you’re looking for, but also show an affinity for your nonprofit’s cause. This could include a hobby that intersects with your mission or previous volunteering experience at an organization similar to yours.

How should I reach out to a potential board member?

Potential board members may be more likely to respond to a message on LinkedIn — a platform they already use to find professional opportunities — than a “cold” email. With LinkedIn Premium or LinkedIn Recruiter, you can message them even if they aren’t already in your network. LinkedIn even offers some customizable templates for personalizing your outreach message.

In this personalized outreach, introduce your mission statement in terms that will resonate with your potential board member’s particular values. Then, lay out the specific ways they can help you achieve your mission, referencing the unique skills and experience that caught your eye. Show your potential board members how they can make a difference alongside you — and that you took the time to learn about them before reaching out — to increase your chances of a positive response.

Ready to elevate your recruitment strategy? Learn more about our discounted nonprofit talent solutions by contacting our team today.

This blog post was originally published on May 23, 2022. It was updated on December 11, 2023, with new information.