"Board Assist has had an incredible impact on our organization."

Partnership for Inner City Education
Providing low-income students with high-quality education

Frequently Asked Questions

1. What’s the down side of having BoardAssist source some board candidates for me?

There is no down side. You pay only if you like the candidate we send you enough that you vote them onto your board…otherwise you pay nothing. When we send you a candidate’s resume, you will have the opportunity to review it and then let us know if you would like to open up a dialogue with that candidate to see if there is a mutual fit.

2. I don’t want to have to sort through a big pile of candidates who might want to join my board. How does BoardAssist prevent that from happening?

BoardAssist typically sends a very limited number of candidates. Historically the response from our nonprofit clients is, “how quickly can we get this person over here for an interview?” Our clients almost always want to meet the people we send them and almost always choose to invite them onto their boards. We are very focused on only sending you candidates who we think will use your time wisely because they would make such great matches.

3. How does BoardAssist decide which candidates to send me?

BoardAssist has over 25,000 board candidates in our database. When a candidate tells us they are interested in board service, they then go through a lengthy process with us where they tell us about their areas of interest, how much time and money they can commit, etc. We work closely with our candidates to help them sort through the many nonprofits who have approached us for a board member. The only resumes you will see are resumes of people who have committed to meet the financial commitment you specified to BoardAssist and are very excited about your mission. In other words, this is not someone who has merely said, “I’m interested in a nonprofit board because I want to give back,” but someone who has said, “I’m interested in precisely what XYZ nonprofit does.”

4. So BoardAssist does the work of finding only those candidates for me that will make sense?

Yes! Many of our clients come to us because they have been inundated with board ideas that were a waste of their time. Our goal is to find only those candidates for you who will join your team and make a difference. We’re very proud that 94% of our candidates are serving as leaders within 12 months of being placed on a board.

5. I hear that BoardAssist has a lot of very “high impact” candidates. I’m worried because we’ve had past candidates who didn’t understand where the board/staff line was and crossed it repeatedly. Don’t I run that risk with a “high impact” candidate?

No! That has not been our experience. In fact, we find more sophisticated candidates understand clearly where the board/staff line is and don’t cross it. Because most of our candidates attend lots of “for profit” board meetings as a routine part of their day, they understand clearly where the board/staff line is and rarely cross it. Our candidates are willing to roll up their sleeves and help the team whenever they can, but one of the biggest compliments we routinely hear here at BoardAssist is, “thank you so much for sending me the only board member on my board who understands where the line is between my job and theirs.”

6. I really need some help with diversity on my board. Can BoardAssist help with that?

Absolutely! That’s one of the main reasons nonprofits come to BoardAssist for support.  We are very proud of our record when it comes to bringing diverse new voices to the boards we serve.

7. How much does it cost to use BoardAssist?

BoardAssist charges a modest placement fee for each board member we successfully identify for you.  This fee is earned once a candidate is voted onto your board; payment is expected within 10 days thereafter.  There is no fee if we are unsuccessful at identifying a candidate you choose to elect to your board.  Our fee essentially “comes out” of the financial commitment our candidate makes to you.  In other words, our nonprofit clients should always be ahead for the year financially after paying our fee, there should be no real “cost” to using our services.  In most cases, our nonprofit clients will ask their new board member to pay half their “board dues” the day they are elected to the board.  From these dues then, our fee is paid.  Other clients will pay our fees, within 10 days, but allow new board members to donate over the course of the year.

Our fee is based on the total financial commitment expected of a new board member, when you add together the personal commitment expected plus what you anticipate they will “get” from others.  Please see below for more specifics:

For nonprofits with an expected financial commitment of less than $4000 a year:  $1000/placement

For nonprofits with an expected financial commitment of $4000 a year or more:  25% of expected first year financial commitment       

8. Why is BoardAssist a sound investment for my nonprofit, I’d rather not have to pay any fee for board recruiting?

  • BoardAssist is the leading personalized board matching service in New York. Since our inception, we have consistently effected more personalized board matches than any service of our kind in the tri-state area every year. Past clients have told us they simply aren’t able to find candidates of the caliber we generate on their own…that’s why year after year, we are the leader in this space.
  • Based on our Summer 2021 Survey (the “Survey”), the average BoardAssist candidate is serving for well over five years, and generating over $20,000 per year for every one of those years. In other words, the average BoardAssist candidate will generate over $100,000 for the nonprofit board they join during their term of board service.
  • The Survey also confirmed that over 90% of BoardAssist placements are serving as leaders on the boards they join within twelve months of being placed.
  • If you have been using a no-fee service, have the board members they found for you joined your Executive Committee and become board leaders?  Are they generating over $20,000 a year for you?
  • 100% of our past nonprofit clients would work with us again according to the Survey.
  • BoardAssist partners with the Harvard Business School, Columbia Business School, Wharton School of Business, The Boston Consulting Group, as well as many of New York’s leading financial services firms, among others, to source high impact, engaged agents of change for the boards of our clients.

9. What factors should we consider as we choose a board recruiting service?

Read our Top Ten Questions to Ask when Choosing a Board Recruiting Service.  Choosing a board recruiting service is important.  We hope our questions help guide you with this critical decision.

10.  We spend a lot of time interviewing board candidates who don’t ultimately join us.  How do we fix this?

Our Top Twelve Tips for Courting New Board Members lists some of our best ideas.  Hopefully it will give you some inspiration and lead to a higher success rate.