Boardmatch Ireland aims to strengthen the governance capacity of the not-for-profit sector. We do this primarily through our FREE online matching service which matches individuals from the corporate sector who wish to volunteer their time as board members, with boards in the not-for-profit sector. Here are a few helpful suggestions to help you make the most out of your Boardmatch experience and contribute to strengthening governance in the not-for-profit sector.

1. Be proactive!
Boards and candidates who are proactive on our website will reap the most benefits. Boardmatch has recently reached the landmark figure of 500 successful matches. Whilst Boardmatch provided the platform, reaching this number would not have been possible without our proactive users.

2. Don’t be afraid to make the first move!
Being proactive means not being afraid to make the first move! When it comes to making contact with potential boards/candidates through our online matching service, making the first move will only maximise your chances of finding a suitable board member/board.

3. Visit the site regularly.
We also encourage our users to regularly visit the website to check for any recent activity on their profile. Boardmatch works best when treated as an interactive site rather than a notice board and the more proactive you are, the sooner you will be matched.

4. Spend time on your registration process.
Be sure to give adequate time to the registration process, the more details you provide, the higher your chances are of making a compatible match. The Boardmatch online matching system works by automatically generating matches based on the information provided in your profile. For example, the interests, skills, and even the location of a candidate will be matched with boards that are seeking a board member with similar attributes. With this in mind, spending enough time registering and developing a comprehensive profile will help candidates and boards alike, get the most out of Boardmatch.

5. Don’t dismiss candidates out of hand.
Boardmatch judges the compatibility of a match between a board and a candidate on a percentage basis. It may seem logical to dismiss candidates or positions that score low on compatibility. Don’t be hasty in your decision however; candidates or positions that score low on their percentage of compatibility may still hold potential.

6. Get a list together of interested candidates and then meet them.
In line with the previous suggestion, drawing up a shortlist of potential candidates together with your board will increase your chances of finding a suitable board member. Appointing a new board member should not be a haphazard affair. Whilst perhaps more time consuming, taking time to meet with a number of interested candidates will ultimately bring greater benefit to your board.

7. Be aware of your board meeting location.
During the registration process, boards that are looking for potential candidates should be broad when detailing the location of their board meetings. As location is one factor which Boardmatch takes into account when generating matches, if the location of the meeting is very specific, the pool of potential candidates will be narrow. A helpful example is the Dublin area. Rather than choosing ‘Dublin 1’ as your meeting location, choose ‘Dublin.’

8. Close your positions once filled.
In order to increase chances of making a match, boards should open a new position each time they are looking for a new board member rather than using the same post. In other words, keeping up a post for ‘director’ that was written in 2009 will fall to the bottom of the pile when it comes to the matching process. Maximise your chances of making a match by closing positions once filled, and opening new ones when looking for new board members.

Written by Sophie O’Brien.

Boardmatch Ireland communications officer