Non-profit organizations need strong leadership and community advocates to grow their impact. That starts at the board level of an organization.
If you’re looking for a unique way to give back to your community, here are five questions you should ask yourself to see if a volunteer board member position is right for you.
1. Do you want to dedicate your professional skills to growing a cause?
A non-profit board is responsible for steering an organization towards a sustainable future. Members of a board manage governing policies, set financial management policies, and advocate for the organization.
Think about what skills you have to contribute to these responsibilities. Do you work in finance or social media? Are you well-connected in your community? Are you someone who likes to work behind the scenes to get a job done? All of these skills, and so much more, would be assets to an organization’s leadership.
2. Are you collaborative?
Generally, there are two types of boards: advisory boards, which focus on the high-level driving for the organization, and working boards, which additionally handing some day-to-day tasks for the organization.
While there are different expectations for different kinds of boards, it’s crucial that you can work well with other people. The board’s responsibility is to work as a team to make key decisions, from budgeting to governing policies.
3. Do you have additional time to fulfill your service?
Serving on a board extends beyond attending monthly meetings. This amount of time varies between organizations, but you should expect to have additional work outside of meetings. That can include reviewing meeting materials, attending events, or contributing to subcommittees.
If you’re looking for a way to give back with less time commitment, consider searching for volunteer positions in your community.
4. Are you prepared for additional board expectations outside of your time?
Boards typically expect their members to donate to an organization to set an example and meet their fundraising goals. They may also require you to attend certain events throughout the year or plug the organization into your network. Make sure that you are in a position to support the cause you’re working with and meet these expectations.
5. Are you energized about being an ambassador?
As a board member, you are a face for the organization and the causes you’re advocating for. You’re responsible for explaining the organization’s impact and mission to drive engagement and donations. This is an exciting role, but you should be prepared to encourage others to connect with the work you’re doing for an organization.
Listen to an episode of Dream. Plan. Live. podcast with Kurt Wiegers of Bank Midwest discussing board service as a rewarding way to dedicate time and talent in your community.
Looking for more ways to give back?
- 5 ways donations help you and the causes you care about
- 4 ways to look for inspiring volunteer opportunities in your community