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What to Know Before Serving on the Board of a Nonprofit

Perhaps you’ve been involved in nonprofit and charity work for most of your adult life. Maybe you’re starting to wonder if it’s time to elevate your level of involvement, giving up hands-on work in favor of a more administrative position. If you’re eager to lead a nonprofit organization, you should consider seeking a board member […]

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Perhaps you’ve been involved in nonprofit and charity work for most of your adult life. Maybe you’re starting to wonder if it’s time to elevate your level of involvement, giving up hands-on work in favor of a more administrative position. If you’re eager to lead a nonprofit organization, you should consider seeking a board member role.

While serving on the board will give you the chance to make a more significant impact and have your voice heard, it can also be a taxing and frustrating process. You might find yourself wallowing in administrative minutia and wishing you have never accepted the gig. You wouldn’t be the first person to regret having traded the soup kitchen for the boardroom.

With the right strategy, however, serving on a board can be a rewarding and worthwhile experience. Competent and well-intentioned board members play a central role in getting the most out of their organizations, maximizing the resources available to them in the interest of better serving the community. Here’s how you should approach your potential board membership if you want to make the most of the opportunity.

Find An Organization Whose Work You’re Passionate About

If you’re not enthusiastic about an organization’s mission statement, you’re not likely to have a good experience serving on their board. Being a board member requires hard work and a steadfast commitment. A tepid interest in the work will never inspire the type of effort that’s needed.

Only Accept If Your Skills Will Be Valued

You should never accept a board position if you don’t think the other members will appreciate what you bring to the table. If you’re a passionate organizer eager to bring politics to the masses, then you shouldn’t work with a steadfastly apolitical organization. Be patient until you find an opportunity that reflects your skillset.

Decide If You Can Collaborate With Other Board Members

You’ll never accomplish anything on a board without cooperation from the other members. Before accepting a position, take a careful look at your potential colleagues. If you can’t see yourself collaborating with them, it’s best to pass up the opportunity.

This article was originally published on jimmowrer.net.

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