5 Perspectives - Why Serving On A Nonprofit Board Makes Sense
I recently moderated a panel in front of nearly 100 nonprofit and business leaders. Our goal was to encourage skills based volunteerism by serving as a board member of a nonprofit organization.
We told them:
- Why they should do it
- How to start the process
- The impact they will have on the organization and community at large
- And what they will get out of it.
With me on the panel were 4 fabulous business and nonprofit leaders. Together we gave our perspectives on board service.
Alisa Kesten, Executive Director of The Volunteer Center
Deborah Bagatta-Bowles, CEO of YWCA of Central & Northern Westchester
Rick Rakow, Board Chair of The Food bank of Westchester
Timothy Donohue, Board Chair of Westchester Coalition of the Hungry and Homeless
In the end, more than 20 people expressed interest in serving on a board. It is now the job the The Volunteer Center to find nonprofit organizations for these dedicated skills based volunteers.
We took away the following:
- Board service is a win-win for both you and the organization
- This is one of the best ways to grow professionally
- You circle of influence will grow dramatically. And you will make lifelong friends.
- Board members often start as front line volunteers
- The more you give of yourself, the more you get back
- Getting young people on a board is another way to plug them into the community and potentially keep them here longer.
- New York State ranks dead last in the USA in terms of adults who say they have volunteered in any capacity during the past year.
- Board members should make a financial give/get pledge. Even if only $100.
- Prepare a personal resume when looking for a board seat that highlights your skills.
- Request a clear understanding from the organization of their expectations.
Skills based volunteering is so critical to nonprofits. The fact that New York State is dead last out of the USA shows we have a lot of work to do here in our community.
I would love some feedback, please take a minute to post a comment or email me with any thoughts or suggestions for future blog posts