Katherine Small


A nonprofit had been operating for 12 years, and its originating and early board members had been rotating off of the board. The organization realized that within the next few years, it would have a complete turnover in board members, and it did not have a plan for bringing on new board members.


Katherine Whitney, a co-founder and director of Warren Whitney, facilitated a board cultivation committee, taking them through the process of:

  • Developing a board matrix which showed when board members would complete their terms (through 2016) and the committees on which they served. This helped identify the skills that would need to be replaced, and helped establish priorities for identifying and cultivating board members with those skills.
  • Creating a nominations process that was presented to and approved by the board.
  • Creating written board member expectations that are to be reviewed with potential board members before they are asked to join the board.
  • Developing a list of potential board members for consideration, with an effort to identify people who would be interested in this organization. (Special Education)
  • Determining the best way to introduce the potential board member to the organization, and the approach to determine whether he/she would be a good fit.
  • Assisting in developing and conducting an orientation for new board members.


The organization added six new members to the board to replace departed board members and added two people to fill vacancies. The work continues because board cultivation is an ongoing process, and there has been a natural change in the composition of the board cultivation committee.