5 ways small charities can recruit a private sector trustee

Small charities are less likely to have abundant financial resources to recruit high-powered executives for their board of trustees. 

Experience comes at a cost, but that doesn't mean smaller organizations can't look to private enterprise for talent. The business acumen of a private sector employee would be a great asset to any charity, The Guardian says. Listed below are five ways to ensure you get the right person for your nonprofit:

1. Exploit your current networks: No matter how long or short your organization has been around, chances are you've had fundraising events in the past. These gatherings are intended to create relationships - so now is the time to reach out again and ask for help. As the old adage goes, people know people. Even if you don't find the right person initially, you've surely created a few more connections in the process.

2. Promote the vacancy: A great way to engage with your social following is by publicizing the opening online. Encourage followers to share the link with their friends and grow your network that way. If you have a newsletter, include it in there as well. A multichanneled approach to advertising is the most effective way to go, the Guardian suggests. 

3. Specifically describe the role: Ambiguity only creates questions, not answers. With a clear description of the position, a potential candidate can quickly identify if he or she is right for the job, and vice versa. For example, if you expect candidates to oversee your online donation software, then tell them upfront. It can take weeks to fill a trustee vacancy, so save everyone some time by being completely transparent. 

4. Don't be afraid to get some help: There are professional recruitment firms out there, so with a little effort, your organization can inquire and employ the help you may need. However, it's crucial to make sure the company has a specialty - in your case, placing executives in similar trustee roles. If they're a strong firm, they should have a database compiled of potential candidates. 

5. Internal communication is key: In being clear with the remaining board of trustees and the charity's members, you avoid potential confusion down the road. If you're having a recruiter handle the process, step back and let him or her work. If not, make sure to define who is doing the hiring, what type of candidate you're looking for, and any other steps that should be taken before making a decision. 

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