Choosing the right board member is an essential element in establishing your business structure. The board of directors represents the interests of your business, and their actions can influence the work you’re doing. If a member of your board becomes difficult to reach, doesn’t attend meetings, or exhibits a major misalignment with your core values or the rest of the board, it might be time to think about replacing them.

A board member who is a good fit shares the mission of your organization. The passion for the issues that your nonprofit tackles will keep board members involved even after the initial excitement has faded. They should also have some level of organizational or business competence and an understanding of the rules of good business practice.

Your board should be comprised of people who are different in age, ethnicity and skills and experience. This will fill your board with diversity and enable you to present alternative perspectives to your leaders. Board members should be able to play devil’s advocate and question assumptions regardless of whether those assumptions stem from their own personal experience.

Ask potential board members what time they would devote to the work of your committees and boards. Many people who are interested in joining a board are unaware of the commitment required to fulfill the role. During the vetting process you should be sure to discover any other commitments which may interfere with their capacity to serve on your board.