I often teach that arts organizations should design their 'ideal board' and then work to build that board over time. By 'ideal,' I do not mean a group of the richest, most powerful people in the country; most arts organizations do not have the ability to attract these people. I mean a board of engaged, passionate supporters who can give and get reasonable levels of donations, who can oversee strategic plans, who can understand and approve budgets and who can serve as ambassadors for the institution. Instead of incrementally adding one new board member every so often, designing the ideal board creates a strategy for building a potent governing body.
An ideal board, of course, requires an ideal chair: someone who has the wisdom and passion and collaborative spirit and leadership skills to run the board and coordinate with the artistic and administrative staff.