3 Ways to Leverage WealthEngine to Recruit Diverse Board Members

3 Ways to Leverage WealthEngine to Recruit Diverse Board Members

February 7, 2020
Nandini Singh

 The diversification of boards is not just a benefit. It’s a necessity. Goldman Sachs recently announced that they won’t take companies public if they don’t have at least one diverse board member, specifically one female board member. Similarly, California amended the Gender Corporation Law in 2019, stating that all publicly traded companies must have at least one female director on their boards by 2020. Additionally, companies with at least one diverse member saw a 44% jump in their average share price. As opposed to those that didn’t, which only increased by 13%. These changes illustrate a much greater need than meeting diversity quotas. Boards are now moving to recruit diverse board members in order to maximize their effectiveness by creating space for different perspectives. 

As boards begin prioritizing diversification, it’s important to be mindful in your search as you sift through potential new members. Not only do you want to make sure that you’re looking at a more assorted pool of candidates, but you also want to make sure that you’re engaging individuals who are well connected, influential, and will provide a unique skill set that will benefit your board. Let’s explore how our platform can help you recruit diverse board members

Things to Consider As You Recruit Diverse Board Members

Even before you begin using tools in WealthEngine to search for new board members, it’s necessary to adopt a new approach to your search. The steps you took to bring together the existing members of your board may not serve you as well now that you’re looking for new individuals with different skill sets. Taking a page from McKinsey, there are 3 best practices you should implement in your diversification process: 

1. Adopt a New Mindset

Make your commitment to gender diversity known and back up that value with sustained action throughout your organization. When creating significant change, outlining your purpose, intention, and goals will help underpin decision making. To do this, you can set new principles in your decision-making process. For example, establish a target number of board positions that should be filled by women and make sure the list of prospective members you’re compiling is diverse. 

2. Expand Your Criteria

Not all ideal board candidates may have prior board experience. That being said, it’s important to look beyond current CEOs or members of C-Suites. Be open to creative solutions and focus more on people who will help you meet your goals. To do this, define what expertise you require from potential board members and then define what is flexible, so as to deliver on gender diversity goals. 

3. Create and Maintain an Active Pipeline

The last thing to consider as you recruit diverse board members is to create and cultivate an active pipeline of candidates. Once you actively create a pipeline of potential female candidates, you can begin cultivating and nurturing long-term relationships with your prospects. This will serve you well in your board-inclusion efforts now and in the future. 

These considerations, in combination with wealth insights, will help you establish a more inclusive and diverse board. 

Before You Begin Your Search

Before you begin looking for prospective board members, it’s necessary to understand what you look for in one. So, as you develop your board member persona and evaluate prospects, ask yourself: is this individual well connected? Do their interests and actions align with our work? Are they a major gift donor? Are they an active participant in our organization or business already? Do they have experience on other boards? If so, which other boards do they serve on? 

Using WE Analyze, you can examine screening data on your existing board members and gain a holistic view of them. This gives you a clearer picture of commonalities, or unique qualities, among them. This will help you more easily visualize your board members, learn more about them, and create a board member persona. Using this information will make it easier to evaluate who would be a good fit for your board. So, this will help greatly during your selection process.   

How WealthEngine Can Help You Recruit Diverse Board Members

1. Use Search and WealthSignal to gain a Holistic View of Board Members

Using Search, you have access to 250 million profiles, with insights on an individual’s wealth, Net Worth, Income, Estimated Giving Capacity, Propensity to Give, and more. So, when looking up the name or profile of an individual you feel may be a fitting candidate for your board, you can gain information on how connected they are, what their propensity and capacity to give is like, as well as demographic information. By understanding their behaviors and interests, you can gain a clearer impression about what (demographically and in terms of their skills), they’ll be able to provide to your board that is unique. 

This is further supported by WealthEngine’s new WealthSignal™. The WealthSignal™,  featured in the upper right-hand corner of each individual profile, will help you make quick appraisals about the individuals you look up within our database. Like search, you receive all the same pertinent information on your candidate (Propensity to Give (P2G), Net Worth, Income, etc.), but it’s all displayed in a visual, similar to a bar-signal. So, you can easily skim through a candidate’s qualities, and make informed decisions quickly about whether or not you’d like to pursue them further, without having to scroll through their info. This cuts out time and energy as you determine who you’d like to engage. 

2. Use Inner Circle to Find Connections of Your Close Contacts

The Inner Circle feature within WealthEngine allows you to discover the close connections or relationships of your existing board members. When looking for potential board members, it’s helpful to find individuals who have some affiliation with your organization or business. Someone who harbors a similar value system and influence as your existing members. And, what better way to find these individuals than through your existing board members’ network? 

All you have to do is upload a list of your Inner Circle members into WealthEngine. The question is: who do you include in that list? Your Inner Circle list can include board members, trustees, long-term advocates—anyone you have a close, personal connection with who has influence. If they’re important to your organization, be sure to include them in your list. Once you label or mark individuals as Inner Circle members using our Inner Circle badge, we’ll store those profiles in your account in a list.

So, the next time you Search or Screen, the system will automatically compare individuals to those marked as members in your Inner Circle list. This will help you determine which people are Inner Circle Connected or people who know those members. Those profiles will then be flagged with Inner Circle Connected badges. These markers will help you navigate profiles with ease as you determine which individuals have networks that could benefit your board. Either through business relationships, nonprofit board members, or personal connections.  

Now, you’re able to reach out to these candidates in an effective way: through a personal connection. These warm connections provide you with an amiable introduction when you’re engaging potential members. These individuals may feel inclined to join your board because you have a mutual connection. So, Inner Circle, and their connections, allows you to find exemplary candidates in no time. 

3. Use Prospect to Recruit Diverse Board Members

Using Prospect (specifically Prospect’s Audience Builder) in WealthEngine, you can generate lists of new individuals (outside of your database) from distinct demographics and hundreds of different attributes. So, if you’re looking for new prospective board members, outside of your known connections, you can plug in qualities into Prospect to view a list of individuals who fall within the parameters you’ve set that resemble your existing board members— or what you’re looking for in new ones. 

Under the ‘Professional’ section of the  ‘Attribute List’ in Prospect, you can flag pertinent criteria for your prospective board members. For example, you could flag attributes such as ‘business owner’, ‘executive’, ‘on board of directors’, and more. You can also flag interests or charitable causes you’d want your candidate to be affiliated with under the Giving Section. Most importantly, under the Demographics section, you can factor in the gender or ethnicity of your ideal candidates. The key here is to find those unique qualities. By narrowing your search, you are identifying individuals who you’d most want to be represented on your board. So, the individuals you identify won’t be far removed from your missions or values as a business or organization. 

Uncover Your Next Best Board Member Using Wealth Insights

Test drive WealthEngine to find your next best board member! Discover their Propensity to Give (P2G), Estimated Net Worth, Connections, and more.

By honing in on the qualities of your ideal candidates, not only will you be able to welcome new board members who were previously underrepresented, but you will also be able to diversify the interests and skill sets brought to the table. With insights like these, you’ll be able to propel the efforts of your organization now and in the future.