Skip to main content

Throw in an Egg Salad Sandwich While You're At It

THIS QUOTE FROM MAUREEN DOWD'S NY TIMES COLUMN (August 2, 2009) is a sentiment I’ve seen before regarding the interview process:

Carol Smith of Elle says she doesn’t hire anyone without taking them out to a meal first because it’s “like a little microcosm of life. How they order, what they order. How are they going to give instructions to a waiter? Are they sending back the meal eight times?

Employers are encouraged to go the extra step when hiring their top people. What’s the equivalent for “hiring” nonprofit board members? As I’ve written in previous posts here and here, the recruitment process of new board members deserves a nonprofit’s utmost attention starting from the first hello. Being a board member is serious business and these days a helluva lot is riding on the ability to provide logic and clarity to decision-making in what’s more like a pinball game than a measured exercise of the public trust.

I’m thinking that the board recruitment process ought to include a meal. There’s so much more you can discover about what a person thinks about your organization (and the nonprofit ethic in general) when the conversation can take place over a tuna melt, a bowl of pasta or a beer. It’s an opportunity to share the stories that reflect and reinforce the organization’s values. It’s an opportunity to understand if those values resonate with your candidate.

Photo: flickr

Comments

Linda said…
We actually did this for a while, and a meal is great for both parties--it means that the potential board member begins to feel a part of the board community, and has an informal way to ask questions. For a director and a nominating committee, it is a way to see how people work and interact...

Popular posts from this blog

4 Nonprofit Resolutions for 2021

Even though 2020 will technically be in our rear view mirror soon, its ramifications will be with us for years to come. Make no mistake, there's a lot of work to do. So, here are my four really tough, but really important, resolutions designed to lay some solid groundwork for doing your best work in 2021. Aren't you glad there are only four? If you're interested in my resolutions from previous years, take a look here  and here .

4 Strategies to Pivot and Lead Through Disruption

Organizational Resiliency in This Crucible Moment

I am currently working with two colleagues from the cultural and heritage fields to think and write about organizational resiliency in times of upheaval and ambiguity. We believe resiliency in this crucible moment requires, first and foremost, nonprofit organizations activate equity and inclusion by embracing it as central to all their internal and external work. It begins when organizations commit the time to examine their own historical roots and practices as a critical step to ensure they “live” their most meaningful missions, visions, and values. Resiliency requires many organizations also renegotiate what it means to be valuable to their communities. The traditional idea of “value” has changed and is changing, and recognizing the extent to what our communities really value is key to being wanted, needed, and, thus relevant. All organizations must retool their financial mindsets, taking a hard look at their current financial realities and realigning the costs of doing business with