CDFI Boards and Fundraising, Week 3: What Skills are Sought After on CDFI Boards?
Last week on the blog, we presented data on the size and composition of CDFI boards. This information can provide insight into board recruitment and retention.
The data indicated that while boards across all CDFI types were most likely to contain representatives from banks and community organizations, CDFI banks and credit unions are more than twice as likely to have representatives of religious organizations on their boards and far less likely to have government representatives when compared with CDFI loan funds. Additionally, CDFI Banks are most likely to have a lawyer on the board, while Credit Unions are most likely to have an accountant as a board member.
Respondents also were asked questions regarding the specific skill sets that were sought after on their boards:
- Across all CDFIs, the top three skills sought in Board members are community awareness / accountability, network and contacts, and financial / budgetary skills.
- Fundraising is cited less frequently as a skill pursued for board recruitment, with 34.5% of all CDFI respondents and approximately 42% of CDFI loan funds indicating fundraising as one of the top three skills they seek in Board members. This is in sharp contrast to the general nonprofit sector, with 83% of organizations engaging board members in fundraising according to a 2012 survey conducted by the NonProfit Research Collaborative.
Why do you think CDFIs are less likely to require board fundraising when compared to the nonprofit sector? Is this seen as an internal function and not a board member? How is your CDFI addressing the issue of fundraising?
Some CDFIs are addressing this issue through formal planning and committee work. In the next blog, we will present data on CDFI board committee structures.