In this episode, Mary Hiland shares how we can help leaders transform their nonprofits with the potential of boards.

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Envisioning the future, advancing the mission, inspiring others and managing excellence

“An effective nonprofit board will enhance the performance of your nonprofit by helping you make better decisions and inspiring others.” Click To Tweet

Nonprofit boards are charged as the highest level of leadership of an organization. Alongside the Executive Directors and CEOs, board members manage operations, envision the future, advance the mission, inspire the community, and commit to fiduciary compliances. Today’s guest, Mary Hiland PhD, has been on all sides of the sector: she went from volunteer, to staff member, to executive director, and now to serve as a consultant and coach. Mary’s biggest passion is to help leaders transform their nonprofits with the potential of boards. Tune in this conversation to learn about the power of well-selected boards, understanding peoples’ needs, and the true value of making a difference in the world.

Mary Hiland is an executive director, consultant, coach, and mental health advocate who has helped numerous nonprofits find effectiveness in order to make a difference, including during this time crisis. With 26 years of experience as an executive director and 16 as a coach, her goal is to apply research and knowledge in practical ways to the challenges that nonprofit leaders face every day.

In today’s episode, Mary provides the 101 on nonprofit board best practice, recruitment and successes. She shares how to hire the ideal members for a nonprofit board, starting from the possible candidates to talking them through their duties. We will learn why building a board is intimidating and challenging; and why mindset, preparation, and taking time to know each other are key steps for recruiting the right board members. Listen now to know her secrets and unleash the potential of your board, too.

Key Takeaways: 

03:42 – An insight on boards: why they are crucial to every nonprofit.

05:59 – The Four Leadership Functions: the board’s roles in the ecosystem.

08:19 – Mary’s Three-Step Process to recruit the best members for your board as a nonprofit.

13:29 – The power of intrinsic motivation and how treating your board candidates as possible donors will increase your recruiting success rate.

15:23 – A natural networking process: asking for referrals when you’re stuck. 

18:37 – Why your first meeting with a candidate should never be seen as a job interview.

21:50 – The non-negotiable traits all your board members must have.

22:43 – Effective boards are effective teams: how to create a thriving and connected community.

27:21 – What about numbers? On the right amount of members for your board team.

29:59 – Valuable time well spent: working on connecting and bonding with your board members.

32:52 – How to properly orient your board members and the three duties they are meant to accomplish.

Connect with Mary

Hiland Consulting

Executive Director-Board Chair Relationships by Mary Hiland

Inspired Nonprofit Leadership Podcast

Episode Resources

Governance as Leadership by Richard P. Chait


Nonprofit Courses