Michigan Nonprofit Association

Lansing Office

330 Marshall St,
Suite 200
Lansing, MI 48912

Payment Remittance

P.O. Box 771958
Detroit, MI 48277-1958

Building A More Diverse Team

Building a More Diverse Team 

"We're a statewide association. We serve and support nonprofits small to large, working on all issues. So we can't be the best resource and the best statewide association if we don't have a diverse team behind the MNA logo. We have to have a diverse team that continues to challenge the conversation.” - Beckie Hawes-Baggett, MNA’s Chief Operating Officer

A Strategy for Board Recruitment

A Strategy for Board Recruitment

Last year, MNA began to prepare for board member transitions. All but three of their 21 person board would be leaving in the next four years due to term limits in their bylaws. After a landscape analysis, they implemented a new recruitment strategy that began with an internal assessment.

“This resulted in a role description for new board members,” says MNA's President and CEO Kelley Kuhn. “The role description was the driver for how we recruited. Not only did we need to understand the composition of the existing board, we began to think about the board in alignment with our 10-year vision for MNA. What might our work for the next decade look like, and where do we need to have board representation in that space?" 

Departing from the traditional board recruitment strategy (which typically consists of existing board members recruiting from their networks) MNA posted a public call for applications and created a form to collect demographic information as well.

“The average age of our board members was 68 and the geographical diversity was not representative of the communities we serve,” says Kuhn. “As the nonprofit association serving the entire state of Michigan, representation matters. So we were very intentional about this and other attributes we needed in this first recruitment cycle.”

The process also helped MNA to look at how the organization has changed. “When we were formed more than 30 years ago, we worked closely with a lot of other statewide serving organizations. But now our membership is made up of more small to medium sized community based organizations, many of whom are led by BIPOC leaders. We also prioritized these attributes when recruiting for the board.” 

MNA had conversations with more than 30 potential board members to discuss values alignment and learn more about applicants understanding of nonprofits as well as their lived experience. Says Kuhn, “Through this process, we eventually arrived at six new members and welcomed them to the board in June.” 

Hiring for the Nonprofit Sector

Hiring For the Nonprofit Sector

Beckie Hawes-Baggett has worked at MNA for 13 years. In her role as Chief Operating Officer, she oversees the hiring process and offers guidance to nonprofits aiming to broaden the diversity of their job applicants and new hires. Here are a few tips from Beckie:

  • Share the job application widely. “Keep going, if you only have 12 applicants, figure out how to get to 30.” MNA not only shares their position descriptions on LinkedIn, and their own Job Center, but also on job boards statewide and staff networks.  

  • Create very clear position descriptions. “List everything that is relevant to someone, including the salary and the benefits list,” says Hawes-Baggett. “We know that we all need to make a paycheck, and we don’t have unlimited resources in terms of salary. But be transparent about what you offer and include flexibility, work-life balance, and other perks."

  • List your values on the position description! “Our candidates have come to us and said it was refreshing to see our values listed on the application. Applicants are comparing your job description against other position descriptions on other websites, so this can help you stand out.”

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