Serving on a volunteer board of directors can be one of the great pleasures of your life. When a candidate and a nonprofit are well-matched, serving on a board can be personally and professionally rewarding.
Each year, CFTEA looks at available openings on their volunteer board of directors. Have you considered serving as a board member? Applications Open in October and close by the end of January. New board members that meet the needs of the organization begin at the start of our fiscal year on July 1. Questions? Contact our office for more details.
When considering joining any board it is important to have answers to the following questions:
Funding for Good, a resource about nonprofit boards, suggests that before considering board service, potential board members should ask themselves questions that include these considerations:
- How passionate am I about this organization’s mission? Being on a nonprofit board can be intense. Starting with a strong commitment to the mission will help you last.
- Do my skills match the needs of the organization? Nonprofits need a wide range of skills from board members. Do my education, interests, and skills fit with this nonprofit’s needs?
- How long has this organization been around? Stability and longevity matter. A brand new organization may require far more work than one that has been around for a while and has all its processes in place. Am I willing to put in the work this nonprofit is likely to need?
- How successful is the organization? Has it celebrated any big wins lately? Or does it seem to be always struggling to stay in business? Do I want to be involved with a struggling endeavor? What challenges does this organization seem to face? Are there demographic challenges? Monetary ones? Competition for funds or clientele? Can I help with any of this? Or do the challenges seem overwhelming?
- How financially stable is this organization? For instance, do they have an operating reserve, or is the organization in a financial crisis? Is there a development plan? What are the primary sources of income? Do I feel comfortable with the way this nonprofit supports itself?
- How are board members chosen? Is there a good onboarding process? Does the board have any power? How large is the board?
- Does the organization have directors & officers (D&O) liability insurance? The personal assets of board members should be protected from lawsuits and the organization’s debts.
- What does the organization expect from its board members? For instance, how often does it meet? Is a monetary contribution required or a certain number of hours volunteered (many boards require board members to donate a particular sum of money annually)? How are board members involved with fundraising?
- Is there a cost associated with attending meetings? Are board members reimbursed for travel expenses? Is there an honorarium? Most volunteer board members serve at their own expense. However, they may be able to take a tax deduction for certain costs, such as travel.
- How long is the board term? Is it one year, two, three? Can I make that commitment to the organization?