It's that time of year: new board member election time! This week's featured question from our Ask a Question section touches on the problem of vacant board slots.

Anonymous question:
We sent home nomination forms and nobody has volunteered for any positions, all of the current board is leaving, do we dissolve or wait until school starts and try to recruit again? Anyone have ideas?

Craig writes:
Honestly, sending home nomination forms rarely works. The best way to recruit new officers is to talk to them individually. People need to know the scope of the job, they need to know the time commitment, and they need to feel comfortable that they'll be able to handle the job. Target people who have already been involved by volunteering regularly or chairing committees. These are the people who are most likely to be interested in taking the next step. Talk to them, tell them about the job, tell them why you think they are a great fit, and let them know that they won't be left out on an island -- someone will be their to guide them or at least you'll have a binder of information compiled to help make things easier. Consider splitting positions among co-officers if that's what it takes to make people feel comfortable. You definitely shouldn't dissolve, especially if you have a volunteer base but just no one to take the leadership reins. Make these personal contacts first, then look for creative solutions. I bet you can figure out a way to keep things going. And by the way, have you recruited among parents whose children will be entering the school next year? Sometimes you can find someone with PTO experience at the previous grade level (preschool if you're an elementary). Good luck.

Links related to officer recruitment and elections: