TOOL 2 Review – Board Nominee Suggestion Form

By John Pearson

“The problem is, most board cultures are developed by default, not by design,” writes Jim Brown in The Imperfect Board Member.

The best boards are intentional—not haphazard or random—about suggesting board prospects who meet the board-approved criteria. A friend of a friend of your Cousin Eddie might/perhaps/someday become an effective board member—but he or she must be evaluated against objective criteria. And prayer must precede appointment!

Recommend People for Your Prospect Pipeline Who Meet the “6 D’s Criteria”

Many boards leverage the easy-to-use “Board Nominee Suggestion Form” included in ECFA Tools and Templates for Effective Board Governance. Tools 1, 2, and 3 are the lead-off hitters in “Part 1: Selecting and Training Excellent Board Members.” The book gives you full access to all 22 tools and templates—formatted as Word documents so you can customize the tools for your board’s unique uses.

This suggestion form will optimize two critical governance values for your board:
• First, the suggestion form will help educate board members to suggest only prospects that meet the board-approved criteria. This will eliminate the “Friend of a Friend of Cousin Eddie Syndrome” and save you hours and hours of time (and expensive steak dinners!).
• Second, because board members are considering at least six criteria (see the “6 D’s” in the book), important qualities of a God-honoring lifestyle and character will be considered early on in the process.

Here are two of the “6 D’s” to consider:

Discerning Decision-Maker: Prior experience in making wise policy, financial, strategy, and personnel decisions. (Is this person competent in both hiring and firing decisions?)”

Doer: Walks the Talk! Reference checks affirm a God-honoring lifestyle and character. Humble, prayerful, and high integrity in all relationships. Affirms our statement of faith.”

The other four “D’s” include: Demonstrated Passion, Documented Team Player, Diligent and Faithful Participant, and Donor.

When you customize “Tool #2: Board Nominee Suggestion Form” for your board, you’ll realize why this book is subtitled, “Time-Saving Solutions for Your Board.” Follow the eight steps in this tool to inspire your board to pray and discern who—in their networks—might be possible prospects for board service.

Click on the title to order from Amazon: ECFA Tools and Templates for Effective Board Governance: Time-Saving Solutions for Your Board, by Dan Busby and John Pearson.

BOARD DISCUSSION: In Matthew 6:21, Jesus said, “For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.” Many boards follow the “6 D’s” criteria, including the requirement that a board prospect already be a generous giver. (See the definition of a “generous giver” on page 19 of the book. Board members at all income levels can be generous.) What’s our board policy on this?

MORE RESOURCES: Read Terry Stokesbary’s guest blog on “Date Board Prospects Before You Propose Marriage,” one of 40 color commentaries from the book, Lessons From the Nonprofit Boardroom. Click here.


This article was originally posted on the “Governance of Christ-Centered Organizations” blog, hosted by ECFA.
John Pearson, a board governance consultant and author, was ECFA’s governance blogger from 2011 to 2020.
© 2021, ECFA and John Pearson. All rights reserved.

This text is provided with the understanding that ECFA is not rendering legal, accounting, or other professional advice or service. Professional advice on specific issues should be sought from an accountant, lawyer, or other professional.