Preparing for a job on the board
Posted: January 04, 2008
Have you ever considered sitting
on a board of directors for a nonprofit organization? Do you already sit on a
board but would like to learn more about the role?
In Canada, all nonprofits must be governed by a board of directors. A board of directors is responsible for high level decision-making. It is accountable for and has authority over the organization's resources and activities. It sets and communicates the organization's vision to the community and governs its affairs.
When looking for a board position it is important to find an organization that fits with your interests and passions. Often people are attracted to organizations that are connected to a cause they can support.
Also, before committing to a board position, be sure to ask what the mission of the organization is and who it seeks to serve. Ask about the financial situation of the organization and future plans for growth. Finally, find out what is expected of you in your role as a board member.
Serving on a board can be an extremely rewarding experience. Kirsten Fisher, board member of Pillar Nonprofit Network and St. Leonard's Community Services London and Region says, "When you are on a board, you are in a position to make a real difference in your community through your contribution to the work of an essential organization. [...] You can have such a positive impact on the lives of others." In addition, the board experience gives you the opportunity to network with like-minded individuals and to share and/or develop your skills, particularly your leadership, communication, and people skills. You will also become better at negotiating your point of view and at building a team.
Serving on a board is an excellent way to give back to a community organization that you care about and it is a great way for you to build your skills. For more information about boards or how to get involved, contact Pillar Nonprofit Network at (519) 433-7876.
First published in The Londoner, December 12, 2007.