Tuesday, March 29, 2016

On Board Recruitment

I recently met with a large client in advance of their renewal to discuss, among other things, the challenges they are facing in their day-to-day business. What keeps them up at night? What are their pains? And most importantly, how can we the broker help them out? As it turns out, they are having the same issues facing many other non-profits these days - board recruitment and retention.

In the business world, attracting and maintaining good talent remains a core principle of any business. Fact: Generally if you hire good people, retain those people, and treat them right, your business is bound to succeed. So why is it becoming harder and harder to attract and retain good board members?

Is the talent pool thinning out? Is there a societal shift away from the importance of philanthropic participation? Is fatigue setting in? Are we just lazy? Maybe its a combination of all four?

According to a 2013 Stats Can report, not only is the volunteer rate diminishing (47% in 2010 compared to 44% in 2013) but the average annual volunteer hours shrank by 2 from from 156 to 154 in the same time period.1 Furthermore, I would like to turn your attention to the table below which breaks down participation by age gender.

Table 2
Volunteer rate, by sex and age Table summary
This table displays the results of Table 2 Volunteer rate Volunteer rate, 2013, 2010, 2007 and 2004, calculated using percentage units of measure (appearing as column headers).
 Volunteer rate
Total4447Note 46Note 45Note 
Men (ref.)4246Note 45Note 44
Women45Note *48Note 47Note 47Note *Note 
15 to 1966Note *66Note *65Note *65Note *
20 to 244248Note *47Note *43Note *
25 to 3442Note *46Note *40Note *42Note *
35 to 44 (ref.)4854Note 52Note 51
45 to 544545Note *48Note *47Note *
55 to 6441Note *41Note *40Note *42Note *
65 to 7438Note *40Note *40Note *39Note *
75 and over27Note *31Note *29Note *23Note *Note 

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