How Does Board Matching Work for Non-Profit Partners?

Step 1: Become a Non-profit Partner

To apply to become a CUP Non-profit Partner and participate in our A Seat at the Table board matching initiative, please email for application details. Please note that the more specific details you can provide in your application regarding your board needs (skills, industry, connections, demographics), the more effectively CUP can identify members that will benefit your organization through board service.

Step 2: Exploration 

Once your application is complete and your partnership is confirmed, you will have access to our board matching resources and will be added to our database, which we regularly search to identify strategic board matches for our members.

As a CUP Non-profit Partner, you will be eligible to attend networking receptions with our highly motivated members, invite members to your events, and be featured in our Non-profit Partner Booklet, which is distributed to members who are actively seeking board service.

Members will periodically request that CUP facilitate an introduction to non-profit partners of interest, but you can request an introduction to individual members as well. As you connect with members, please be sure to communicate and highlight your organization’s mission, structure and culture, as well as specific board requirements and responsibilities, to ensure suitable board matches.  


Attend a CUP Event
CUP hosts quarterly networking receptions for our members and select non-profits. These receptions are a great way to casually meet-and-greet with members that have a wide range of skills, backgrounds and interests.

Invite CUP Members to Your Events
CUP periodically notifies members of non-profit partner events, fundraisers, and volunteer opportunities. This is a great way for members to see your organization in action and assess their interest and fit with your organization.

Host a Training
CUP offers semiannual board governance trainings for our members. Hosting a training at your offices is another way to connect with members that are actively looking for board placement and leadership development opportunities.

Step 3: Cultivation 

During the cultivation phase, we encourage you to maximize a board candidate’s exposure to your organization. This will allow candidates to gain a better understanding of your vision and goals, as well as the population that you serve. Be patient and remain engaged—this process can often take several months, but it is worth your time to develop strong relationships that will lead to more meaningful board service.

After the initial introduction, be courteous and respond to members promptly. Next steps may include:

Introductions to Non-profit Leadership and Staff
Invite candidates to have coffee or meet with your Executive Director or other senior staff.

Introductions to Current Board Members
Candidates will likely meet the Nominating Committee during the application process, but you should also consider inviting them to a board meeting or introducing them to other board members, so they may better understand the dynamics of your board.

Scheduling Site Visits
Ask the candidate to join you for a tour of the office to see your organization in action.

Invitations to Events
Invite members to attend upcoming events that may provide insight into how your organization executes its mission and how board members support these initiatives.

Volunteer Opportunities
Allow members to observe your organization’s impact by inviting them to volunteer or to assist with a program.

Before you get to the decision phase, engage in one or more of the above activities to best determine if a member is the right fit for your organization.

Step 4: Decision
Now that you’ve developed a strong relationship with your board candidate, it is time to decide if you would like to extend a formal offer. As you make your choice, consider their skills, connections, fiduciary capacity, and, most importantly, their commitment to your mission.

As you present your offer, make sure you have given the candidate a comprehensive description of their role and responsibilities. Use an established onboarding process and encourage other board members to advise and support them as they adjust to their new role.

Last but not least, please keep us posted. We love to hear about your success in finding the right fit for your board and their board service!

For questions, please email


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