How to Join a Non-profit Board - Part 2
Now that you’ve defined your passion (as discussed in Part 1), you need to find the right non-profit organization to volunteer for as a board member.
The many ways
There are many ways to identify potential non-profit organizations that will make good candidates for you to choose from, including:
There is value in HR
If you work for a large corporation, be sure to check with your HR or Corporate Social Responsibility department. Many keep a list of who in your company volunteers for which organization, as well as the various non-profits in the area and their board member requirements.
Banks keep this information as a regular course of business. They are required by law to give back by the Community Reinvestment Act. In addition, many large law firms and accounting firms require board service of their prospective Partners and large technology employers encourage community engagement as part of professional development.
If you are serious, say so
Another good way to get recommendations is to add that you are interested in joining a non-profit to your elevator speech. Talk about it at networking and other professional events. Get the word out.
Whatever the source, I recommend you make a list. Then narrow down your choices by applying the criteria you’ve developed. Consider your talent and area of passion, combined with the mission, size, geographic location, etc. for each of the organizations on your list.
When evaluating your shortened list, be sure to consider how much time you can contribute and what kind of financial commitment you can make. Most non-profit boards have some financial commitment they require from their board members. It may take the form of buying X number of tickets to a fundraiser or making an in-kind donation to an auction (your timeshare for a week?) or writing a check.
Other things you should research and evaluate include:
Your research will enable you to develop a short list of potential non-profit organizations you think might be a good fit for you. At this point, that is exactly what you’re looking for – more options.
Now you are ready to do your due diligence in-person.
If your research hasn’t turned up all of the answers to your questions, this is the time to ask. Find out what the expectations are for board members regarding time, financial commitment, etc. Do they expect board members to raise money? Is there a Board Member Job Description?
Get introductions to current board members. Talk to some of the staff members. Attend an event. Attend a board meeting. Try the organizations on your short list on for size.
By becoming a board member, you will be committing to supporting your non-profit of choice. They will be relying on your time, treasure, and talent. It is up to you to make sure you’re making the right choice to find your best fit.
Looking forward to Part 3
Now that you have found the non-profit you are passionate about; we will cover the process and best practices you should follow to join the board in Part 3 of this series. If you are new, be sure to subscribe so we can keep you up to date!
Did you miss Part 1?
Read “How to Join a Non-profit Board - Part 1” here >
About the Author
Since joining Valtas, Jacki continues to contribute to the non-profit community through her legendary network, enabling her to connect non-profit organizations to the right resources. She holds several non-profit board positions in support of her non-profit passion for Basic Needs.
Connect with Jacki here >
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