Interested in Joining a Board? This is a Must-Read for You.

Written by Garrett McCord

What Joining a Board of Directors Entails and Why You Should Join One

At Metro Edge’s upcoming Storm the Board meeting, you’ll have the opportunity to meet representatives and Executive Directors from some of the Sacramento region’s finest, respected, and accomplished nonprofit organizations.

They’ve gathered because they’re looking for you: young, energetic, passionate people who want to make a difference. So what is a Board of Directors, and what expectations and duties does a board member have? Read on!

What is a Board of Directors?

Nonprofit organizations are those that serve to better the community and don’t function for the sake of generating a profit, though operating in the black is certainly a goal. A Board of Directors (Board) is the organization’s governing body, made up of representatives from the region that is served. Board members are unpaid volunteers who discuss and vote on policy, management, directions and goals that will help the nonprofit be successful.

What are the Requirements for Joining a Board?

Generally, it’s considered best practice to elect members onto the Board whose experiences and skills align with the needs and mission of the nonprofit. For example, if you wanted to join a nonprofit that focuses on education, having experience as a teacher or social worker would be beneficial and offer the Board related insight.

Nonprofits also have various other needs such as legal counsel, accounting services, marketing knowledge, IT assistance, and government liaisons. Having these and other types of skills and connections can be a huge boon to a nonprofit!

In addition, having a passion for the nonprofit’s mission is an absolute must!

What is Expected of a Board Member?

Board members are generally expected to put in around 3-5 hours of time every month. There’s usually a monthly Board meeting where various topics and policies are discussed and voted on.

As members are partly responsible for the financial operation of the nonprofit, board dues are often billed on an annual basis. The amount varies from organization to organization. Some boards, however, do not require board members to pay dues.

There are also various board officers who have extra duties such as the Treasurer who helps run and analyze financials, and the President who runs the board and keeps the organization on track. Various committees that serve more focused functions may also exist.

Board members should also anticipate spending time at special events and fundraisers. making connections and encouraging others to donate will probably also fall under your list of things to do.

What are the Benefits of Being on a Board?

The greatest benefit is, naturally, helping an epic organization pursue their mission and making the world a better place!

Of course, being a Board member also helps you make connections. Fellow members are often respected partners in the community and usually associate in areas you might not have much contact with otherwise. Board membership also reflects well on the character and charitable nature of the individual. However, these reasons alone shouldn’t be the motivation for joining.

Being on a Board also gives you the opportunity to flex your professional muscles in new, diverse, and often challenging ways. You’ll come out of your time on a board as a more experienced individual ready to face any situation!

Be sure to attend Storm the Boardroom!

April 19, 2016

5:30 – 8:00 PM

Café Bernardo on K

1000 K Street

Free for Metro Edge Members (for a limited time), $15-$20 non-members