Thinking About the Best Board Chair

Thinking About the Best Board Chair

The best Board Chair is one who knows how the organization works. S/he is a good public ambassador for the organization articulating the land trust message accurately and confidently, and lending credibility to the organization through his/her association. S/he leads with her own giving, which is significant for her, and manages the administrative side of the job well. Such a person wasn’t recruited to the Board yesterday. In fact, s/he has probably been on the Board for five years or more.

Furthermore, such a person is not likely to be idle when you have a Board seat to fill. It might take several years to properly cultivate and recruit such a person to the Board. This process is not unlike that of cultivating a major donor. And if you calculate what they give to the organization over their term of service, it would certainly qualify as a major gift – but I digress.

The point is that the Board Development Committee should be looking at least 7-10 years out. What will the organization look like out there? What will be the most significant organizational challenges, and what kind of leaders will we need to overcome them? What kind of person do we need to cultivate (or get to know) NOW, so they are ready to come onto the Board in 2-3 years – so they are ready to take the lead five years from then?

Think about it.

Your comments and questions are welcomed at

Have a great week,



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