Too often, Nominating Committee conversation starts with: “Who do we know?” rather than: “Who do we need? The conversation should focus on the experience, skills and connectivity to build a high performing board. Effective recruitment mimics the way paid positions are best filled in nonprofits – by defining the organization’s needs and identifying candidates to help meet them. Use a simple board matrix (spreadsheet) as your planning tool. Begin with a column-long list of the expertise you need to populate your board (e.g. legal, accounting, marketing, media relations, architecture, engineering, event planning, fundraising, government relations…the list can be long!). Then fill in the names of current board members who meet the criteria. The cells left blank – no current name to match the need! – are the gaps you’ll need to fill. For more information, please see: Growing Your Board.