Nonprofits depend on a functioning board of directors to achieve their mission. They are looking for individuals who are committed to the mission that have connections with the people they serve and have experience in overseeing business affairs at some level.
Professionals from all types of businesses and organizations are members of nonprofit boards. It’s a great way to broaden your network and gain new skills and make a difference on the community.
According to an Korngold survey 78% of board members reported that service on a nonprofit board helped them develop a greater appreciation for opinions and perspectives that are not their own. This is crucial in a non-profit board environment where Nonprofit Board Members decisions have to be made with limited resources and the board must make sound financial management choices.
Nonprofit board members are subject to a variety of legal obligations and responsibilities that include the Duty of Care as well as the duty of loyalty. Board members must avoid conflicts and not abuse their positions by making use of funds from the nonprofit for personal gain. For instance, if the board is deciding on an increase in the salary for the executive director, and you own the director’s company it is your responsibility to abstain from voting on the issue because of conflicts of interest.
In addition, many non-profits have permanent (sometimes called “standing”) committees that handle ongoing issues and other specific needs as they arise. These committees are staffed by board members who must reveal any potential conflicts of interest to other board members.