What can we do to diversify our board?

Creating more diverse and inclusive boards is one of the most important challenges facing nonprofits today. A growing body of knowledge suggests that we should begin by identifying what the ideal profile of our board would look like with respect to sectors represented, skill sets, and demographics (age, race, residence, gender, ethnicity, etc.). Only then can we structure specific actionable plans on how best to “fill in the gaps.” Doing so will probably require that we commit to the effort for the long term and are willing to consider changes in how we identify and recruit new trustees. It may well require that we evaluate our staffing and programs through that same lens. Creating a path to service on the governing board, with new opportunities to serve in other important ways, may also help us better reflect the communities we serve.