Myth #1- I have no experience, so I can’t make an impact.
Everyone has skills and talents to offer. If you like people, attending events to represent your organization is always a need. Finance, accounting, marketing, and branding are in high demand. Technology and social media expertise is helpful. HR, legal, and strategic planning are indispensable. Boards should offer onboarding and education for new board members (hint- ask for a mentor), so you can learn specifics for that organization.
Myth #2- I watched the tv series “Succession”. There’s too much politics and backstabbing.
Nonprofit board members are driven by passion for the mission of the organization, not greed, because nonprofit board members are volunteers and never paid.
Myth #3- I’ll have to ask my friends to donate money—yikes!
False. Think of your role as an Ambassador, sharing your passion and involvement with the organization. The fundraising experts in the organization will guide fundraising efforts. You may be asked to write thank-you notes to donors, attend fund-raising or thank-you events to informally represent the organization, and share organization news on your social media.
Myth #4- Nonprofit boards all have a waiting list of people who want to join.
Most nonprofits, especially smaller and newer ones, are always looking for new board members. And, they often have a tough time finding them. Ask the Executive Director what volunteer opportunities are available, including board service, and you’ll discover they are thrilled.
Myth #5- “Fiduciary Responsibility” is scary.
Definition: Board members, as stewards of public trust, must act for the good of the organization rather than for the benefit of themselves. Fiduciary duty requires board members to stay objective, responsible, honest, trustworthy, and efficient. Ask questions if something doesn’t make sense to you. Addressing potential conflicts of interest and making a good-faith effort are the requirements.
In summary, nonprofit boards are a group of volunteers who care about the mission of the organization, and work to share the responsibility and leadership to help the organization grow and thrive. If you care about the mission of an organization, you can make a difference and have a lasting impact. So go ahead and get involved!
For specific opportunities in Tucson, AZ or Central NJ, give me a shout. HAPPY 2024!!