In Part 1 of this series on diversity, we discussed mission reasons, business reasons and other ways to think about diversity on nonprofit boards. In Part 2 we looked at diversity at the nonprofit sector level and the importance of organizations of color in the nonprofit ecosystem. Here in Part 3 we offer specific, practical tips for recruiting people "unlike ourselves" for nonprofit boards.
One of the maxims of looking for a job is that it's more effective to look for a particular kind of job (as a waitress or as a teacher in a preschool) than it is to look for "a job -- any job!" In the same way, knowing why you want to recruit someone of a different race, let's say, and knowing what you want that person to do, is more effective (and sincere) than "we just need a Latino."
In Part 1 of this series we discussed four types of reasons to recruit people with backgrounds out of the mainstream, including people of color, people with disabilities, lesbian and gay individuals, and so forth. We also talked about involving people from our constituencies, whatever those may be, and offered several sample diversity policies. We recognized that for organizations of color, women's organizations, immigrant organizations, and others, demographic diversity may be inappropriate, or framed differently. In this article we build from there for an organization that knows what board members need to do, and as a result, who they might need to be.
The worst ways to talk about recruitment
When board recruitment comes up on the agendas of most boards . . .