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  • Writer's pictureMichelle Walker

Q28 & Q29: Nonprofit Staff and Board Recruitment

My pre-survey reading also highlighted the less obvious marketplace opportunity of recruiting and retaining people talent (Bingham and Spradlin, 2011). Showcasing intellectual capital assets to prospective board members and employees is a way to demonstrate expertise and strong operational skills. For recruiting board members, it’s a way to differentiate a nonprofit from others in the competition to attract talented volunteers with limited time but valuable skills and networks.

Both groups, staff and board talent potentially add to the nonprofits intellectual capital resources creating new intellectual property or other value-added intangible assets for the nonprofit. Two organizations that I worked for excelled at this, though the talent, once recruited, was not always valued or utilized effectively. That disconnect highlights that knowledge management processes become important to creating evergreen intangible assets, but that’s a topic for another day.

I asked the 19 nonprofits if their organizations used IP to recruit either staff or board members and if those efforts had resulted in a large candidate pool.

Does the organization leverage the intellectual property to recruit employees or board members? Just employees, just board members, both employees and board members, neither employees or board members, and I don't know given as answer options.
2014 Survey: Question 28

The nonprofits shared that:

  • Five (5): do leverage IP to recruit both staff and board members.

  • Eleven (11): Do not use IP to recruit either staff or board members.

  • Three (3): Did not know if IP was leveraged in the recruiting process.

The five that leverage IP in recruitment of staff and board talend were asked a follow-up questions about the impact that had on the candidate pool.

Has leveraging the intellectual property resulted in a larger candidate pool in the organization's efforts to recruit either staff or board members? Yes, no, and I don't know given as answer options.
2014 Survey: Question 29
  • Three (3): Of the five respondent believe that this strategy has resulted in a larger candidate pool.

  • Two (2): Of the five organizations did not know if the IP attracted more candidates.

Though this is too small of a sample to be conclusive, it is interesting that none of the organizations said that this strategy had not increased the candidate pool. This suggests that some SEs are proactive in showcasing their IP to potential employees and board members and some perceive on some metric that it is a successful strategy for their nonprofit.


You can skip to the summary of all of the responses in the Social Entrepreneurs and Intellectual Property Management paper. Or, read through each of the blog posts tagged as Intellectual Property Data V1.0 for a more recent analysis of the data.

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