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Board member recruitment is never an easy task. But let's say your nonprofit is successful in identifying a candidate, is the criteria for selection singularly a set of skills, knowledge, expertise and lens that make the candidate the "right" fit? I would propose there to be one more element: passion for mission. And how to measure or determine passion? While action (lots of experience or knowledge about the mission is an indicator of passion, I pose that the candidate's understanding of the organization's theory of change would be a clear indicator of fit.

Theory of Change answers three questions: what is the issue, concern or interest that calls for action; what is the solution or action around this issue; and what is the desired result? If a prospective candidate's answers or perspective to these 3 questions is consistent with the board's, fit is highly likely. If the candidate does not have any perspective consistent with the board's own collective declaration of responses to these questions, then the candidate, in my opinion, is likely not a good fit. As an indicator, an individual's understanding of and willing to engage around the theory of change will assure the rest of the board that a future partner has been identified.

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